Ritmo Caliente

Ritmo Caliente

by Eddie PalmieriEddie Palmieri


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If indeed there are no second acts in American lives, someone forgot to tell Eddie Palmieri. The monstrously gifted Latin pianist is on a career high, just shy of his 67th birthday, with a reconstituted band, La Perfecta II, that's plainly recharged his batteries. Where the band's first recording recapped the glory of Palmieri's '60s ensemble, Ritmo Caliente is a ringer for his groundbreaking '70s LPs. The albums -- Sun of Latin Music, Unfinished Masterpiece, Justicia -- that dazzled with their mix of electrifying dance numbers, searching excursions into Latin jazz, and baroque set pieces. This one's got 'em all, starting with "La Voz del Caribe": This crackling floor-filler, front-loaded with inspired inspiraciones from sonero Herman Olivera. Palmieri's solo, a four-dimensional romp that starts meditatively and builds to a flurry of keyboard karate chops, is one for the books. A reprise of "Sujétate la Lengua" finds Olivera admirably filling original vocalist Ismael Quintana's shoes; another remake, "Lo Que Traigo Es Sabroso," featuring Orchestra Broadway flutist Eddy Zervigon and a break into Afro-Cuban batá rhythms, will satisfy dancers like a plate of rice 'n' beans at 3 a.m. Then there's Palmieri the innovator: "Gígue (Bach Goes Batá)" marries the pianist's fascination with classical music to the rhythms of Afro-Cuban folklore. It's not nearly as outlandish as it sounds -- Villa-Lobos did similar work with his Bachianas Brasilieras -- and Palmieri can root out the rhythm in anything. Taking the 6/8 meter of the classical dance form and nudging into a 3/4 jazz strut and back, the effect is reminiscent of Sun's "Una Roza Española," a jaw-dropping history lesson in clave time. Meanwhile, "Grandpa Semi-Tone Blues" uncovers commonalities between New Orleans–style boogie-woogie and salsa; it's everything that boogaloo could have matured into. Convening the string section of "Gígue" for the gorgeous bolero/ballad "Tema Para Reneé," kicked off with a pointillistic sun shower of solo piano, Palmieri claims a territory for Latin albums as wide as it was in the '70s. By turns groundbreaking, nostalgic, and virtuosic, Ritmo Caliente simply raises the bar for Latin music, thanks to the maestro, once again.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/10/2003
Label: Concord Records
UPC: 0013431218029
catalogNumber: 2180
Rank: 102191

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Eddie Palmieri   Primary Artist,Piano
Johnny Rodriguez   Coro
Brian Lynch   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Robby Ameen   Drums
José "Cochi" Claussell   Timbales
Conrad Herwig   Trombone,Alto Trombone
Renaldo Jorge   Trombone
John "Dandy" Rodriguez   Bongos,Guiro
Eddie Zervigon   Flute,Guest Appearance
George Delgado   Conga,Konakkol,Iya,Shekere,Itotele
John Walsh   Trumpet
Karen Joseph   Flute
Joe Santiago   Bass
Frankie Vazquez   Coros
Herman Olivera   Maracas,Vocals,Claves
Franklin Rivers Vasquez   Coros
Doug Beavers   Trombone
Ilmar Gavilan   Violin
Chris Washburne   Trombone,Tuba
Ivan Renta   Tenor Saxophone
Wan Yi Pan   Cello

Technical Credits

Brian Lynch   Arranger,String Arrangements
John Burk   Executive Producer
Jon Fausty   Engineer
Eddie Palmieri   Arranger,Producer
Abbey Anna   Art Direction
Glen Barros   Executive Producer
Doug Beavers   Orchestration

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