When there is an artist whose entire body of work is head and shoulders above that of his peers, how does one choose that artist's finest work? Who can say what is the best from the best? This is a hard question to answer until that work is staring you in the face in all of its lush, swinging, funky glory. Maraca could be the hippest group coming out of Cuba today. Tremenda Rumba! could easily be the very finest of Maraca. Displaying an astonishingly wide stylistic range, Maraca takes you on a tour de force of Cuban music. Musical director Orlando "Maraca" Valle makes stops for danzon, rhumba, bata, timba, and of course, the rich and delicious salsa that has made them famous. Every style is performed with authority and virtuosic musicianship. Sometimes style-hopping projects can feel artificial, and serve more to expose limitations than knowledge of heritage. Valle leads with such vision, every track bears the touch of a master, as his musicians deliver the music with skill and passion. Both the dedicated salsa fan and world music enthusiast will be equally enthusiastic. From the skillful arrangements to the deft, fiery soloing, Tremenda Rumba! will bear careful and frequent listening to unwrap and appreciate its depth and beauty.
AllMusic Review by Evan C. Gutierrez