Ritmo Caliente

Amazon.com Price: $22.95 (as of 04/10/2023 16:43 PST- Details)

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Years ago, the Nuyorican pianist/bandleader Eddie Palmieri christened himself “the Sun of Latin Music,” and with the recent deaths of Mongo Santamaria and Tito Puente, his claim to that title today is unchallenged. This CD, which translates as “Hot Rhythm,” harkens back to the two-trombone frontline he pioneered in the 1960s with his legendary La Perfecta ensemble. Trombonists Conrad Herwig and Renaldo Jorge make up the frontline with ex-Art Blakey Jazz Messenger trumpeter Brian Lynch. Percussionist José “Cochi” Claussell, drummer Robert Ameen, and bassist Joe Santiago provide the punch behind these tunes in the classic, salsa-friendly Afro-Cuban tempo and mode. Palmieri’s percussive pianisms swing with a groove that propels both Latin and jazz rhythms. On “Gigue (Bach Goes Batá),” Palmieri fuses J.S. Bach with Afro-derived batádrumming, while “Grandpa Semi-Tone Blues” is a catchy Antillean blues number. Palmieri’s Thelonious Monk-like piano style is extremely percussive, and in his hands the instrument becomes 88 well-tuned hand drums. –Eugene Holley, Jr.