Saturday, November 22, 2008

Eddie Palmieri - "Unfinished Masterpiece" (1975)

Bacoso's been posting some great Eddie Palmieri over at OIR which has encouraged me to drag out my latin albums again .... Eddie's a genius and a revolutionary giant. Latin had never seen harmonies like this before - Palmieri pushed at both the latin boundaries and the jazz boundaries at the same time without letting them wash each other out.

Palmieri's great early 70s albums like "Superimposition" and "Justicia" began to mix up genres in a way that reflected the cultural gumbo of New York itself. He began to really stretch his own boundaries in the studio with 'The Sun Of Latin Music" in 1974, particularly with the sprawling 15 minute "Un Dia Bonito", which begins with atmospheric textures and dramatic pacing, then works through an extraordinary, almost classical cross-harmonic brass buildup before morphing into a latin stormer. (I've added this as a bonus track in the comments). The album netted him his first Grammy award, which was in fact the first-ever Latin Grammy.

In 1973 he released "Sentido", which in tracks like "Condiciones que Existen" began to incorporate the funk textures from the album by his "Harlem River Drive" project, once again a distinctly New York cultural stew that can also be heard on the live "Sing Sing" albums from 1971, and influences other live recordings like the "University Of Puerto Rico" album.

Less funk and more cuban textures in this album from 1975, but it's still from the period when Palmieri had most of his considerable irons in the fire at the same time, moments of descarga - listen to everyone go crazy in the 12-minute standout track "Cobarde"; piano atmospherics and experimentation in "Random Thoughts"; percussion to die for in "Oyelo Que Te Conviene".

There's the salsa of "Un Puesto Vacante" with Lalo Rodriguez tearing up on the vocals, some boogaloo strains in "Kinkamache", and finally jazz and even big band textures in "Resemblance". That last track has quite a different lineup of jazzers including Ron Carter, Jeremy Steig, Steve Gadd, and Eddie Martinez on the rhodes.

And all the way through there's Eddie himself, always unexpected and exploratory in his piano progressions, and writing incendiary brass parts like no-one else can. He was apparently never fully satisfied with getting this album finished, but Coco Records put it out anyway - thus the title. He won his second Grammy award with this one.

WAV and 320 MP3 versions of "Unfinished Masterpiece" are at the bottom of the post, also a bonus of the aforementioned track "Un Dia Bonita" from "The Sun Of Latin Music".

Also check out the discography below for 53 more Eddie Palmieri-related albums.

Finally here's more latin from this blog.

01 'Un Puesto Vacante' (3:48)
02 'Kinkamache' (5:40)
03 'Oyelo Que Te Conviene' (6:29)
04 'Cobarde' (10:46)
05 'Random Thoughts' (6:22)
06 'Resemblance' (4:49)

All tracks by Eddie Palmieri

Eddie Palmieri - piano and leader
Lalo Rodriguez - lead vocal
Victor Paz - trumpets
Barry Rogers - trombones and tenor tuba
Nicky Marrero - timbales & percussion
Tommy "Chuckie" Lopez Jr - bongo
Eladio Perez - conga
Jerry Gonzalez - conga on "Cobarde"
Polito Huerta, Eddie "Gua-Gua" Rivera, Andy Gonzalez - bass
Ronnie Cuber - baritone sax, soprano sax & flute
Mario Rivera - tenor & baritone Sax
Lou Orenstein - tenor sax
Bobby Porceli & Lou Marini - alto sax
Peter Gordon - french horn
Tony Price - tuba Alfredo de la Fe - violin
Harry Viggiano - electric guitar
Jimmy Sabates, Willie Torres, Ismael Quintana - coro

Guest musicians on "Resemblance" :

Eddie Martinez - electric piano
Jeremy Steig - flute solo
Ron Carter - acoustic bass
Steve Gadd - drums
Mike Lawrence - flugelhorn
Ronnie Cuber - baritone solo
Ed Byrne - trombone
Lynn Welshman - trombone

Eddie Palmieri - arrangement, theories and structure
Rene Hernandez - arrangements
Barry Rogers - arrangement on "Cobarde"
Eddie Martinez - arrangement on "Resemblance"
Harvey Averne - producer

1962 "La Perfecta" at Orgy in Rhythm
'El Molestoso' at Zona Musical / info1964 'Lo que traigo es sabroso' at Si Se Rompe Se Compone or alternate1964 'Echando Pa'Lante' (Straight Ahead) at Zona Musical
1965 'Azucar pa' Ti' at Si Se Rompe Se Compone
1965 'Mambo Con Conga Is Mozambique' at La Musica Latina or alternate or FLACS 1967 'Molasses' at Orgy in Rhythm
1968 'Champagne' at Rock Savage
'Justicia' at NakitaMusica
'Live at Sing Sing Vol 1-2' at Rumbarte
'Live at Sing Sing Vol 1' at Orgy in Rhythm
1971 'Vamonos P'al Monte' at
Zona Musical / info
1971 'Superimposition' at
Orgy in Rhythm
1971 'At the University of Puerto Rico' at Zona musical
/ info

1973 'Sentido' at Orgy in Rhythm
1974 'The Sun Of Latin Music' at revolucion, no / alternate
'The Sun Of Latin Music' (expanded 2 CD set) at El Principante Salsero

1975 'Unfinished Masterpiece' in comments here
1976 'Eddie's Concerto'
1978 'Lucumi Macumba Voodoo' at
Zona Musical
1981 'Eddie Palmieri' at
Zona Musical
1981 'Timeless' (live) at
Zona Musical / info
'Sueno' at Salsa All Stars
or alternate 1984 'Palo Pa Rumba' at DDC or alternate / alternate
1985 'Solito' at Las Cintas Recuperadas
1987 'La Verdad' (The Truth) at Salsa Emsamble or alternate1991 'El Rey de Las Blancas Y Las Negras'
1994 'Palmas' at Zona Musical / info
'Arete' at Zona Musical / info
'Chocolate Ice Cream' at Zona Musical
1996 'Vortex' at Mis Albumes Salseros or alternate
'El Rumbero del Piano' at Zona Musical or alternate
1999 'Live'
/ info
'La Perfecta II' at Zona Musical / info
'Ritmo Caliente' at Zona Musical / info 2005 "Listen Here" at CB Latin Jazz Corner or alternate
'La Experienca' at Zona Musical / info
1965-6 'Descargas at The Village Gate Vols. 1-2' - (Tico All-Stars) at Orgy In Rhythm
1966 'Descargas at the Village Gate Vol 3' (Tico All-Stars) at Easy Jams
'El Sonido Nuevo' (with Cal Tjader) at Into The Rhythm or alternate
1967 'Bamboleate'
(with Cal Tjader) at Orgy in Rhythm / alternate
1968 'Live at the Red Garter Vol. 1' - Fania All-Stars at
Si Se Rompe Se Compone
1968 'Live at the Red Garter Vol. 2' - Fania All-Stars at Si Se Rompe Se Compone
1976 "Harlem River Drive" at My Favourite Sound or alternate
1992 'Llegó la India' (with India) at CB Latin Jazz Corner or alternate
1994 "Fania All-Stars Live in Puerto Rico" at La musica de Nakita
'TropiJazz All-Stars Vol 1' at La Coleccion
1997 'TropiJazz All-Stars Vol 2' at La Coleccion
1997 "Nuyorican Soul" at Latin Jazzoteca
2000 'Masterpiece' (Obra Maestra) (with Tito Puente) at Salsa Emsamble or alternate / alternate 2005 'The Very Best of Tropijazz' at La Coleccion
2006 'Simpatico' (with Brian Lynch) at Zona Musical


"The History Of Eddie Palmieri" at bermudezyezid musica y mas1975 'Lo Mejor de Eddie" (The Best of) (Tico) at
Zona Musical
1976 'Gold' ('73-'76 material) at Zona musical
1977 'The Music Man' (El Hombre Musica) at Zona Musical
1993 'Salsa Meets Jazz' at Latin Jazzoteca / alternate
1999 'The Best of Eddie Palmieri' (2 CD set) at Notas Agudas
2007 'El Prodigioso - Los 50 Años Del Maestro' at Latin Jazzoteca / alternate
'The Latin Giants Of Jazz in San Sebastian' at Latin Jazzoteca


"Unfinished Masterpiece"  WAV - MP3

Bonus track : "Un Dia Bonita" WAV


Djalma said...

Thaks Simon, this one looks like a true banger! And all this info... Amazing! And thank you for helpin' out with the comment questions... Simon's Soul Food, sounds cool... :)
Peace brother...

cheeba said...

Fantastic write up, Simon! Succinct but power-packed as always.

I think I can hear why EP wasn't so enthused either - it's not a dud, just something missing in the way the music tells a story compared to say, Sentido.

Still grabbing b/c my vinyl copy is heavily worn. Thanks!

ish said...

que chevere.

gracias Simon!

flageolette said...


Thank you very much,


Jazzjet said...

Hi Simon,
Another great post. While I knew about EP before, you've opened my eyes ( or rather ears ) to some new parts of his catalogue. Many thanks.

johnv said...

Always a great experience, Simon. Thanks for all the wonderful work you do!

Simon666 said...

Thanks guys.
Are the new preview players working ok for people ?

Gianni said...

I am away for job but I keep dreaming here.
thank you Simon.
you are a Messenger on Earth for spreading quality music and high feelings.
thank you from my heart and my mind

Lester said...


Thanks for this post, and all the others. I don't mind the great music, but I really appreciate the knowledge.

makuma said...

One more chapter of the book.. Thanks so much Simon..

P.S. - Would really like to hear your keyboard improvisations..! Would you consider record one of your sets one of this days?

Many Blessings :)

Reza said...

eddie has 9 friends and 162 mystery people ?

moody bugger he is, walked off the stage a couple of times, always late, shouting at people, decided he wouldn't play once ..the set started 2 hours late however always always worth it

trumpetaaa said...

great record & interesting reading
many thanks

Simon666 said...

Thanks for comments guys.

hey Reza, the friends / mystery people = comments / downloads, decided to track it this time out of curiosity. Good prima donna stories, might have to change his name to "Britney" Palmieri ...

hey makuma, might have to wait until I get a bit better .. :)

taro nombei said...

Nice one SImon. Not from his peak period - Un Dia Bonita takes us back there, thank you very much - but definitely good to hear (first time to these ears).
And, as always, so much to learn from the background discography.

RPM said...

Thanks very much for the discography! I hope you sneak a few naps into your busy days.

Christopher said...

Thanks much for La Perfecta band. A great time for Eddie and salsa in general.

Simon666 said...

Glad you're enjoying it - thanks for all the comments Christopher, much appreciated.

Gorgon Jr said...

The education continues...
lets hope it never stops!
thanks simon

the jazzman said...

Thanks for this one. Never heard it.

Fass said...

thanks for your work!
grtz from a'dam!

chewiec said...

Can't wait. Never heard this one

Simon666 said...

Added to discography :

"Vortex" (1996)

Anonymous said...

aaah great!!! love this,,
WAV is the way to go!!!
we love you simon

André said...

just found your blog yesterday! thank you for some very nice music, i have yet to explore.

Simon666 said...

Have fun André :)

2bad said...

Wow! This post is a tremendous service and resource to those of us who appreciate Eddie. Thanks so much. Sorry it took me 14 months to find it but thanks for keeping it here all this time. If I am finding it this much later and leaving a comment, you can bet there are ten more like me who don't write anything, so, let me thank you on their behalf and encourage you to keep up your excellent work in the effort to preserve jazz.

bsananda said...

This is, arguably, the best music blog on the net!


While many of the Eddie links have expired . . .

Here is my contribution (borrowed from wolfgang's vault):

1974, April 28 (premiere eddie period) at the record plant in sausalito.

rochus said...

Very late in finding this blog, but from what I've read so far, it's going to do wonders for getting to know new artists.

Very informative and a great chance to get to hear music that is either impossible to find or only available second hand at ridiculous prices.


Mark said...

Thanks for this great site and putting up so much great music.

Simon666 said...

Thanks for your comments guys :)

HMPZ said...

Thank you very much, especially for the meticulous descriptions for each and every artist. It's so lively to not only being able to listen to this wonderful music, but having the chance to learn so much from knowledgable peers :-)

Easy Jams said...

More Eddie Palmieri here:

Simon666 said...

Thanks Easy Jams, linked up in the discography above :) Killer lineup and great excerpt on your blog, looking forward to hearing the whole thing ....

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot !!!

Vladimir said...

BRAVO!!! Great post!

Anonymous said...

extraordinario este blog
felicitaciones y muchas gracias por tanta buena y casi inhallable musica

saludos cordiales


Simon666 said...

obrigado ricardo :)

Anonymous said...

Ohhh yeah. This one feels good.

Reinaldo Robles said...

Very nice job. I am a huge fan of EP and have everything he recorded. I only have one suggestion to make. You may want to correct the order of his releases for Coco Records. EP's album Sentido was released in 1973 The Sun of Latin Music in 1974 and Unfinished Masterpiece in 1975.

Simon666 said...

Thanks for the info Reinaldo, corrections made :)