Master conguero Ray Barretto and salsa queen Celia Cruz had already worked together on the 1983 session Tremendo Trío, which found them teaming up with Puerto Rican sonero Adalberto Santiago. Five years later, towards the end of 1988, la guarachera and Barretto recorded the delightful, no-frills salsa session that you hold in your hands. The quality of the songwriting and the excellent production values of "Ritmo En El Corazon" gained the album a Grammy award in 1990.
While Mediterraneo became known for their most commercial albums, the first couple of them definitely have a progressive edge.The band came from Alicante, formed in early 70's and led by keyboardist/singer Víctor Carratala and drummer Alfonso Linares.Due to the dictatorship in Spain the band changed a couple of names as ''Huevo Frito'' and ''Mandragora'' without releasing anything.By late-70's though a more intensive period starts for them with numerous gigs at festivals and clubs and the small local label Aphrodita decides to press their debut ''Estrechas calles de Santa Cruz'' in 1978.
The question that must be confronted for those familiar with the breadth of her work is, "Is it even possible for Celia Cruz to record a bad album?" With elements such as producer Emilio Estefan, Jr., executive producer Angel Carrasco, and of course, la guarachera del mundo herself converging to create 2000's Siempre Vivire, the answer to that question seems clear. Celia's first album for Sony certainly captured those elements that uniquely belong to Cruz, and discriminatingly avoided any influences of the day that might adulterate those qualities or date the project. In conceiving this record, the creative team walked a very fine line by deciding on a project that could both stand among its contemporary peers and yet sound classic. It is hard in modern salsa to find the tres, a sultry bolero, or to hear plena played well. In a genre that continues to narrow its stylistic scope, it's refreshing to come across a record that can simultaneously be a citizen of the present, and reach to the past.