There is something terribly final or absolute about "best of" collections. Often they attempt to sum up the life's work of an artist rather than illuminate a few high points. However, this collection of Eddie Palmieri tunes is a humble offering that gives listeners a taste of the salsa pianist's music, rather than a "completed" story.
Listeners should find ABSOLUTELY THE BEST OF to be a point of departure, not a final destination, and songs such as the frenetic "Sabroso Guaguanco" and the laid-back "La Fruta Bomba" are as good as any to begin the journey. Consisting of both studio and live tracks from the 1960s and '70s, this compilation highlights some of Palmieri's best recorded material from his early to middle periods. His late brother Charlie Palmieri is heard on this disc, too. A salsa master in his own right, the senior Palmieri plays superb organ on the concert version of "Vamonos Pa'l Monte." Unlike many of the later recordings by Eddie Palmieri, this album contains no jazz per se; instead, it is rich with Latin musical heritage.