Eddie Palmieri's Latin Jazz Septet On JazzSet Palmieri plays the whole piano, and he's not shy about throwing an elbow or forearm to get the effect he needs.

Eddie Palmieri performs at the Kennedy Center. Juan L. Cruz/Courtesy of the Kennedy Center hide caption

toggle caption
Juan L. Cruz/Courtesy of the Kennedy Center

Eddie Palmieri performs at the Kennedy Center.

Juan L. Cruz/Courtesy of the Kennedy Center

JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Eddie Palmieri's Latin Jazz Septet On JazzSetWBGO

Eddie Palmieri's Latin Jazz Septet On JazzSet

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/182640431/182591752" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Eddie Palmieri has been a force for Latin jazz since the 1950s, when he hosted the legendary mambo shows at New York's Palladium Ballroom. His groups, including the renowned La Perfecta, revolutionized Latin music in the 1960s and '70s. His records number more than 30 as a leader, and he's won nine Grammy Awards. At 76, Palmieri is still a foremost ambassador for the music he loves.

Palmieri was born in New York City, in Spanish Harlem. Music from a variety of cultures -– Puerto Rican, Cuban, African-American -– was right on his doorstep. His first professional work came playing timbales as a teenager in brother Charlie Palmieri's band. Eddie says he's still a drummer at heart, but realized the piano –- which he'd studied in this youth –- was the instrument for him. Palmieri is a pianist in the grand manner: He plays the whole keyboard, and he's not shy about throwing an elbow or forearm to get the effect he needs. He also plays some of the most beautiful romantic music you can imagine, as heard on this installment of JazzSet.

Between tunes, Palmieri shares the history of his music and states his intentions: "The music that you heard tonight, it's the fusion of the 21st century called 'Latin jazz.' We play the structures of instrumental mambos. The mambo era in the '50s [featured the] great orchestras of Machito, Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez and my brother, Charlie Palmieri. They were the pioneers of utilizing a jazz composition or a standard or Broadway showtune to turn that into very exciting dance composition. The tension and resistance within that composition was certainly going to excite the dancers and the great teachers that were teaching at the greatest ballroom, The Palladium Ballroom. The main thing is that these rhythmical patterns originated from African captives brought into the New World. I don't guess that I want to excite you with my music; I know it."

Personnel

  • Eddie Palmieri, piano
  • Jonathan Powell, trumpet
  • Louis Fouche, alto
  • Orlando Vega, bongos
  • Vicente Rivero, congas
  • Jose Claussell, timbales
  • Luques Curtis, bass

Set List

  • "Crew" (Eddie Palmieri)
  • "You Dig" (Eddie Palmieri)
  • "Iraida"
  • "Palmas"
  • "Picadillo" (set 1) (Tito Puente)

Credits

Thanks to Kim Smith and Eddie Palmieri Jr. for arranging this recording. Recording engineer Greg Hartman; Surround Sound mixer is JazzSet technical director Duke Marko. Onsite producer and script by Mark Schramm.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR). Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science

The veteran jazz drummer is joined by special guests that include producer and percussionist Kassa Overall and actor Malcolm Jamal Warner, for a potent and deeply moving set.

Richard Smith Photography

Baltimore Rebirth: A New Bloom Of Jazz In Charm City

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

We bring you the glory, the decline and the renewal of jazz in Baltimore with trumpeter Sean Jones, NEA Jazz Master Todd Barkan and The Baltimore Jazz Collective.

Baltimore Rebirth: A New Bloom Of Jazz In Charm City

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/809580070/809946638" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Chris Dave & The Drumhedz perform during a Tiny Desk concert, on Dec. 9, 2019. (Catie Dull/NPR) Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

Chris Dave And The Drumhedz

Chris Dave, your favorite musician's favorite drummer, takes listeners on a journey through a virtual record store, picking up different genres along the way and putting them in your bag.

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra performs during tiny desk on December, 4, 2019. (Photo by Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra

Here's a first: Steelpans at the Tiny Desk. It's true. Nearly a thousand performances into the series and the instrument has never been featured, until now.

Jon Batiste performs during Tiny Desk on November, 8 2019. (Photo by Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Jon Batiste

Jon Batiste's Tiny Desk Concert was published prematurely. The new publication date is March 2020.

Spanglish Fly performs at a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 9, 2019. (Emily Bogle/NPR) Emily Bogle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Emily Bogle/NPR

Spanglish Fly

Spanglish Fly is one of the pioneers of the boogaloo revival scene happening on the East Coast. For about sixteen minutes, they turned the NPR Music offices into the hottest Latin dance club in D.C.

Dr. John performs onstage during Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival on Sept. 26, 2015 in Franklin, Tenn. Jason Davis/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Jason Davis/Getty Images

'Jazz Night In America' Remembers Artists We Lost In 2019

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

We are showing our deep appreciation for some of the greats who left us in 2019: Dr. John, Joseph Jarman, Ethel Ennis, Larry Willis, Ray Santos and Harold Mabern.

'Jazz Night In America' Remembers Artists We Lost In 2019

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/791073108/791221476" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Herbie Tsoaeli Steve Gordon/Musicpics.co.za hide caption

toggle caption Steve Gordon/Musicpics.co.za

The South African Songbook: Jazz Musicians Who Stayed During Apartheid

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

We celebrate 25 Years of democracy in South Africa by focusing on the trailblazers that stayed during the brutal era of apartheid, featuring Herbie Tsoaeli and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

The South African Songbook: Jazz Musicians Who Stayed During Apartheid

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/789310873/789442955" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Moonchild performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Oct. 17, 2019. (Catie Dull/NPR) Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

Moonchild

The LA-based trio makes an intricate blend of jazz, R&B and hip-hop. For their Tiny Desk set, they pulled out all the stops: flutes, flugelhorns, saxophones, keyboards, ukuleles and more.

Back To Top