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Eddie Palmieri: Listen Here!

Jim Santella By

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The big band sound of Eddie Palmieri's powerful ensemble leaves no doubt: Latin jazz has the capacity to excite, to thrill, and to interpret good music all night long.

Featured solo voices include trumpeter Bryan Lynch, alto saxophonist Donald Harrison, trombonist Conrad Herwig, and pianist Palmieri. His musical guests give Listen Here! an added force that drives the message home. Your heart won't slow down until the CD has finished and someone has turned out the lights. Palmieri's session is hot. It'll whisk you away on a New York vacation, complete with all the soul sauce that your body can absorb.

At the piano, the leader strides with percussive confidence. He provides his band with a model that they willingly follow to its forceful conclusion. All points converge on hot jazz that flows like blood through our veins.

Regina Carter takes "In Flight" to its extremes with a rollicking melody that pours like fine wine. Michael Brecker interprets "Listen Here" the way Eddie Harris used to say it. John Scofield drives "Vals con Bata" with fiery enthusiasm, and David Sánchez adds an eruption of tenor smoke. "Tin Tin Deo" features Sánchez and Palmieri in solo spots that loom both suave and direct. The pianist leaves no doubt about his intentions. He's determined to give his audience a night to remember.

Scofield returns on "La Gitana" with an acoustic guitar interpretation that swells with its nod to tradition. He and Palmieri unite to create a dream that returns to the era of Django Reinhardt and intuitive his capacity for swing. Nicholas Payton and violinist Carter give "Nica's Dream" a hefty kick that recalls Dizzy Gillespie and the dreams that he left us. Brecker and bassist Christian McBride join Palmieri on a trio session for "Mira Flores," which paints a lovely picture of Spanish tradition. Each drives this piece forcefully; both Brecker and McBride solo with straight-ahead authority.

Payton returns to close the album with Palmieri's "EP Blues," which serves as a trademark for the hot big band sound that the pianist gets from his ensemble. A driving tempo and subtle harmonic dissonance keeps the piece fresh and alive as everyone jams on this highly recommended session.

Track Listing: 1)In Flight; 2)Listen Here; 3)Vals Con Bata; 4)Tema Para Eydie; 5)Tin Tin Deo; 6)In Walked Bud; 7)La Gitana; 8)Nica's Dream; 9)Mira Flores; 10)E.P. Blues

Personnel: Eddie Palmieri--Piano; John Benitez--Bass; Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez--Drums; Giovanni Hidalgo--Percussion; Michael Brecker--Tenor Saxophone; Regina Carter--Violin; Christian McBride--Bass; Nicholas Payton--Trumpet; David Sanchez--Tenor Saxophone; John Scofield--Electric, Acoustic Guitars

Title: Listen Here! | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Concord Picante

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