Eddie Palmieri: Ritmo Caliente (2003)
Latin jazz musician Eddie Palmieri has been quoted as saying, "I'm a frustrated percussionist, so I take it out on the piano." On his latest release, he does just that. Palmieri is not a Latin jazz purist. On past records, he has fused Latin and non-Latin music forms. The only track on which this is done here is "Gigue (Bach Goes Bata),” where he combines European classical and Latin jazz music.
And he pulls it off beautifully. It starts out as a classical piece and then suddenly changes over into a bata drum hard-driving session. This is the highlight on Ritmo Caliente. Palmieri is known for his complex arrangements and the tune is the only one in that category.
The rest of the disc is straight-up salsa characterized by punchy horn charts and hot, percussive grooves. Palmieri's piano playing often gets lost in all the music swirling around him. But when he does take solos, his playing is unpredictable and quite stimulating. This a party hearty record, great for dancing on a Saturday night. If you like Poncho Sanchez, add this one to your collection.
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This review first appeared in All About Jazz:Los Angeles
Track Listing: La Voz del Caribe/ Granpa Semi-Tone Blues/ Billie/ Lazar Y Su Microfono/ Ritmo Caliente II/ Tema Para Renee/ Leapfrog To Harlem/ Gigue (Bach Goes Bata)/ Dime/ Sujetate La Lengua/ Lo Que Triago Es Sabroso
Personnel: Eddie Palmieri- piano; Brian Lynch, John Walsh- trumpet; Conrad Herwig, Renaldo Jorge, Chris Washburne, Doug Beavers- trombone; Herman Oliveravocals; Joe Santiago- bass; Eddie Zervigon, Karen Joseph- flute; John Rodriguez- bongos; Jose Claussell- timbales; Robert Ameen- drums