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Eduardo Palmieri (New York, USA, December 15, 1936), is recognized as one of the most innovative artists in the history of Latin music being one of the pioneers of Salsa.
Eduardo Palmieri was born on December 15, 1936 in New York City. Of Puerto Rican origin and of Corsican descent, at the age of 11 he auditioned at the Weil Recital Hall next to Carnegie Hall, a place much further from the Bronx than he could have imagined. He organized his first orchestra at the age of 14 years. During the 1950s, he ventured into tropical music, orchestras such as Johnny Segui, Vicentico Valdez and Tito Rodríguez before forming his own band, the legendary “La Perfecta” in 1961.
His first band
In 1961 he created his famous “Conjunto La Perfecta”, together with trombonist Barry Rogers and singer Ismael Quintana. With them he debuted in the world of the album in 1962, just at the moment when the brass bands were more fashionable. With the sound of violins and flute, Palmieri followed that fashion but integrated trombones and trumpets. As a confessed lover of Jazz, Eddie, since then, distinguished himself by being an experimental musician. That is why his discography in the 1960s left as testimony two productions with jazzman Cal Tjader. La Perfecta was dissolved in 1968 due to economic problems, but then Palmieri’s contribution to the musical staff included albums such as Lo que Traigo es Sabroso, from which his first hit, Muñeca, was derived. At a later stage, Eddie moves from Alegre to Tico Records. With these, he produced a series of highly successful albums, such as the classic jewel of 1971 Vamonos pa’l Monte, which included his brother Charlie Palmieri, as a guest organist.
His union with the singer Ismael Quintana was a great success until he decided to launch his solo career with the label Fania Records. That’s when Eddie recorded the production The Sun of Latin Music with a new singer named Lalo Rodríguez, only 16 years old, and with him his album became the first Latin production to win a Grammy Award in 1976 (Annex: Awards Grammy of 1976). At the end of the 70s, Eddie recorded with the label Coco Records. Of this time, productions such as Unfinished Masterpiece stand out. Like other Latin artists of the moment, Palmieri tried his luck with the American record label Epic Records, but unfortunately the experiment did not turn out as he expected, so that union lasted a short time.
The white album
Lalo followed the same steps as his predecessor Ismael Quintana, leaving the Orchestra to launch as a soloist. Fact that caused Ismael Quintana to return with Cheo Feliciano, who had already had the opportunity to record with Palmieri on the 1968 Champagne album. Together they gave the world to see the great production Eddie Palmieri, also known as the Palmieri White Album, in 1981. Also in the 1980s Eddie won two new Grammy for his productions Palo pa ‘Rumba from 1983 and Solito from 1985. Por another part in 1987 he recorded salsa singer Tony Vega on the album La Verdad.
Despite the decay of the Salsa, this has not stopped its thrust in the musical staff. In this way he was able to venture into his other passion, Latin Jazz, and continue with Salsa. In fact, he recorded in 1992 with La India, in production came La India, via Palmieri and in 1998 the production El Rumbero del Piano in which he returns to the hard sauce that has always characterized him. During his long career he has participated in concerts and recordings with the Fania All Stars and Tico All Stars and has excelled as a producer, arranger, composer and conductor. With him have worked great musicians such as Israel Cachao Lopez, Alfredo Chocolate Armenteros, Lewis Khan and Bobby Valentín.
With the arrival of the new millennium, Palmieri had expressed his desire to withdraw from the musical field, an announcement accompanied by the Masterpiece production with the late Tito Puente. This musical production received applause from the specialized critics winning two new Grammy awards, thus reaching six of those awards. He also brought us productions with the group ‘La Perfecta II’ that brought us a series of songs from the previous Palmieri set and high quality jazz albums like ‘Listen Here’. 81 years of life, 61 years in music, 55 years in musical groups and 45 years in the recording rooms, they deserve Eddie Palmieri more than 35 musical works with their own group.
Eddie is considered The Emperor of Salsa, El Molestoso, El Rompeteclas, El Sol of Latin music, or as Enrique Romero says, director of the magazine “El Manisero” in Barcelona, Spain: Palmieri, es, de los demás pianists of Salsa and Latin Jazz, without discussion, the most modern, the most studious, the most risky, the most gozón, in a word the most revolutionary. In 2013 he received the most prestigious jazz award in the United States, the NEA Jazz Master.
More Facts about Eddie Palmieri
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