Eddie Palmieri

Live From Bronx

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Backed by a superb, largish Latin jazz ensemble, Eddie Palmieri went into the Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture in the Bronx to record this benefit album for the Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center. The elaborate piano/string synthesizer intros by the erudite pianist/leader are deceptive, for they soon give way to some heated yet paradoxically poised Afro-Cuban vamps, executed with breathtaking clarity and -- under the circumstances -- recorded quite well. Everything burns, but not blatantly; best of all is the easygoing yet sexy guajira, "Slow Visor." The soloists are all fine jazzmen, with Juancito Torres Vélez and Barry Danielen, alto saxophonist Héctor Veneros, trombonist Juan Pablo Torres, and bassist Hugo Duran getting some choice spots -- and Anthony Carillo takes a long, unaccompanied bongo solo on "Camagueyanos y Habaneros." You don't have to know that this album is going for a good cause in order to pick it up.

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