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World - Released December 31, 1970 | Fania

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World - Released December 31, 1986 | Fania

Eddie Palmieri's 1971 LP Vamonos Pa'l Monte moves easily from the nearly avant-garde trumpet-battle opener "Revolt/La Libertad Logico" into the new-era-meets-old "Caminando," complete with an excellent electric-piano solo by Palmieri himself. He also takes the lead on the seven-minute title-track jam, this time with organ (backed by brother Charlie), backed by a strong vocal chorus (Justo Betancourt, Santos Colon, Yayo el Indio) and the rugged timbales playing of Nick Marrero. Above and beyond the irresistible arrangements and intricate playing, Vamonos Pa'l Monte benefits from one of the best recording jobs of any early-'70s salsa record, each section -- and practically each musician -- vigorously separated with clear stereo. Though many fans consider it a transition record toward the compositional brilliance of The Sun of Latin Music, it's actually a much better record for fans of traditional salsa. © John Bush /TiVo
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Salsa - Released November 24, 2017 | Musical Productions

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Latin - Released December 31, 1964 | Fania

Eddie Palmieri first hit in the '60s with his classic two-trombone sound. This is one of his finest albums; unassuming, joyous, punchy, and sharp, it has the outstanding Ismael Quintana on vocals and Manny Oquendo on timbales. © John Storm Roberts /TiVo
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Latin Jazz - Released November 1, 2005 | Nonesuch

Eddie Palmieri's Palmas starts at full speed and doesn't stop, except for some thoughtful extended piano noodling on "Bolero Dos." The band features three jazz horn players (trumpet, trombone, saxophone) in front of a smokin' Latin rhythm section, all held together by the maestro on piano. Palmieri typically starts off a number with familiar Latin piano patterns which quickly evolve into completely innovative chord combinations. The horn players take the listener on some musical adventures in each of these extended tunes, flying far afield, but always coming back to the theme. The percussionists keep their complex beat for the most part, but occasionally swap rhythmic places with the horns as the timbales or bongos take a solo while the brass pumps out the time. Palmieri's style has evolved significantly over the decades. Fans of his older salsa material will be surprised by Palmas; listeners who discover this man through Palmas will be surprised when they seek out older material. But careful listening reveals surprising constancies in Palmieri's piano playing over the years. Be ready for a trip on this one. © Bruce Ishikawa /TiVo
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Electronic - Released March 28, 2006 | Charly Records

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Latin - Released January 20, 1962 | Poppydisc

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Salsa - Released January 1, 2006 | Musical Productions

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Salsa - Released January 1, 2006 | Musical Productions

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Latin - Released December 31, 1964 | Fania

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Latin - Released December 31, 1984 | Fania

1984's Palo Pa Rumba is more of a dancers' album than most previous albums by Eddie Palmieri, but that does not make it dated or uninteresting to hear. Rather, it is like the great live Tito Rodriguez at the Palladium album: outdoor concert, festival-stage music. And the comparison is no coincidence. Palmieri played on Tito Rodriguez at the Palladium and considers it one of the greatest live albums ever recorded. A simpler reason is that Palo Pa Rumba is Palmieri's first album to feature entirely Puerto Rican musicians. Palmieri himself states in the liners, "I hope you enjoy our music. And now let's dance." To do neither is inconceivable. © Tony Wilds /TiVo
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Latin - Released July 21, 2015 | J&N Records

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Latin - Released December 31, 1964 | Fania

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Salsa - Released January 1, 2006 | Musical Productions

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Ep

Latin - Released December 31, 1990 | Fania

Eddie Palmieri has come a long way from Harlem River Drive, the first band he formed upon getting to New York from Puerto Rico. Since that time, he's become a well-known of deep son and salsa bands, an arranger, a session musician, and even as a film composer. EP is a 1985 session with no musicians' credits and no notes, so all you can do is go on the merits of the music. It's a big band session, with cooking Latin rhythms and Afro-Cuban melodics, as well as a few vanguard compositional touches. The record smokes thoroughly from beginning to end, revealing that Palmieri has lost none of his fire since the mid-'70s, and is a stunning showcase of his abilities as an arranger and composer. "El Dia Que Me Quieras," which is a tango by Carlos Gardel, is adapted here by Palmieri for his large band. He begins with a pastoral string section into, playing glissando over miniscule changes in tempo and timbre. Next thing you know, the salsa enters and rocks it up with a host of singers in call-and-response mode before an oboe winds its way right though the mix to re-establish Gardel's theme. Another notable is the "Palo Pa Rumba," authored by Palmieri. Using classic form and shading the beats with a three-part harmonic horn choir augmented by a piano bridging the rhythms and melodies, the entire track turns into a dervish rhumba frenzy by moving the minor key figures into extended mode until they virtually cover the original melody while not departing from it. It sizzles and shakes with polyrhythmic fever whirling around the listener until it burns itself out seven-and-a-half minutes later. There is no let up or let down, and given that this is a 1985 session when a lot of the bands were disappearing, it's a welcome addition to the Latin big band catalog. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Latin - Released December 31, 1966 | Fania

Along with Willie Colon, brother Charlie Palmieri, and other Fania and Tico label artists, Eddie Palmieri helped forged the innovative mix of salsa, boogaloo, jazz, soul, and rock that helped define the New York-Latin sound of the '70s and '80s. The '60s, though, found Palmieri mostly focused on Cuban and Puerto Rican music and jazz. A high point for Palmieri during this fruitful period certainly must be his Tico release Molasses: a fine record that has salsa both frenetic ("Campesino (El Pregon de la Montana)") and even keeled ("Tiradote Flores"), as well as percussion-heavy descargas ("Bombonsito de Pozo"). The set also includes evocations of important figures like Palmieri's former boss and smooth, Latin-big band leader Tito Rodriguez (the mid-tempo mambo "Traguito") and salsa pioneer Arsenio Rodriguez (the raw, Afro-Cuban vocal and percussion attack of "Carnival en Camaguey"). And for even more variety, a straight pop rendition of the Andre Previn standard "You're Gonna Hear From Me" is included. Throughout the set, Palmieri shows off his considerable, McCoy Tyner-inspired piano chops. His band is equally impressive, especially vocalist Ismael Quintana, percussionist Manny Oquendo, and trombonists Barry Rogers and Jose Rodrigues (the latter two being part of Palmieri's signature two trombone and flute front line). Molasses is one of the many excellent titles in the Palmieri catalog and certainly one of the Latin master's best recordings from the '60s. © Stephen Cook /TiVo
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Salsa - Released January 1, 2006 | Musical Productions

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Jazz - Released July 17, 2009 | Intuition

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World - Released September 25, 2015 | Palmieri Music

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World - Released December 31, 1968 | Fania

With Champagne, Eddie Palmieri attempted to chart the changing waters of popular music circa 1968, and the results are as widely varying as the material. He veers from Latin soul to real champagne music to straight-ahead salsa, tries to jump-start a new crossover dance craze, but also looks back to adult-pop standards. And from the first few moments of the LP, it's clear a change-up is in order; over an elastic, funky bass line, a male voice asks incredulously: "Como?/Palmieri? Boogaloo?" The man leaps right into his response to the nascent boogaloo craze with "Ay Que Rico," an irresistibly swinging number with great playing from all involved, from a sprightly upright bass to the raucous brass section re-introduced periodically. Unfortunately, the rest of the crossover material doesn't sound quite this inspired; the very next track is a the chestnut "Here's That Rainy Day," taken at a snail's pace. "Cinturita" and "Palo de Mango" are solid straight-ahead salsa numbers, but "The African Twist" is another obvious commercial tester, a female-led popcorn anthem with a good groove and solid playing but not much else to recommend it. It's best to skip Champagne altogether, and find "Ay Que Rico" on a compilation like NuYorican Funk Experience: Salsa Caliente de Nu York!. © John Bush /TiVo