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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.
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
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-
Robert Ameen- drums
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.