This sweaty heat has me thinking of the Lower East Side, NYC: cars driving around with Puerto Rican flags painted on the hood, old dudes riding souped-up bicycles blaring Salsa out of boom boxes attached to the front baskets and folks sitting around card tables on the sidewalk playing dominoes. Maybe that’s why I’ve been playing this record now for 3 days straight.
Eddie Palmieri’s classic 1971 album Vámonos Pa’l Monte is legendary among Salsa fans but this is so much more than a Salsa album, and Eddie Palmieri is so much more than a Salsa musician. (Someone needs to tell that to Pandora, whose Eddie Palmieri station plays only Salsa, which is great, but misses a huge part of the picture). Palmieri is a jazz pianist, bandleader and composer who has fused jazz and Latin rhythms for the past 50-odd years, blazing the trail for Latin Jazz and creating some of the coolest jams and smoking hot Salsa the music world has ever seen. And he’s still at it – his 2006 release The Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri Project: Simpático won a Grammy in 2007 for best Latin Jazz Recording. So sit back, don’t fight the heat and turn up the volume on these tracks below. Buy the album on Amazon here. ¡Sabroso!