On Maferefun, his follow-up release for Blue Jackel, the 31 year old master musician, composer and arranger and his group The Cuban Power further advance their goal of defining a new way of using the dialect of traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms to forge a new music language for the next millennium. And the company Martinez keeps on the album speaks both of the high esteem in which he is held by many of Cuba's most important musicians
and of their eagerness to contribute to the leader's imposing artistic quest.
Foremost among Martinez' colleagues on the session is the extraordinarily gifted piano virtuoso Gonzalo Rubalcaba, recognized throughout the world as one of the most important jazz innovators of his generation. Conguero Miguel "Anga" Diaz, a veteran of the seminal Cuban group Irakere, is a technically dazzling percussionist who is viewed as the kind of breakthrough conga player who comes along only once in several decades. Trumpeter Julio Padrón, also a graduate of the Irakere finishing school of Cuban jazz, is both a brilliant soloist and the consummate section member. Drummer Julio Barreto, a member of Rubalcaba's famous Cuban jazz quartet, is another
star quality musician who, as with his cohorts on the session, enthusiastically conforms to the spirit of camaraderie Martinez has cultivated among his cast of guest musicians and regular band members.
In the Yoruba tongue, the album's title means "Blessing to the divine grace." The new music Tony Martinez regales us with on Maferefun is both divine and a blessing.
Reviews"Tony's true greatness is either the way he blows that sax, or his insatiable ability to surround himself with good workers. Or perhaps it's his class-act arranging and composing skills. Certainly the 7 minute 'Latin Funk' displays all these talents to the fullest. Horns, sax solo, rhythm, rhythms, voices in the back from the old days of 70s funk, but not of English words. It's all happening'. And it all starts with 'Tumbao pa' mi timbal,' almost 9 minutes long, with lots of solo slots to fill. Gonzalo Rubalcaba does a sublime job of finding all his lost notes on the piano. Martinez proves, by sax, just why he's at the front of the credits. He blows like kisses and popping popcorn." - Ben Ohmart