A master of the traditional and the progressive, the styles of the past and the bright, swinging future, Eddie Palmieri is one of the most influential Latino pianists of the 20th century. His extreme versatility and artistic vision are brilliantly displayed on The Sun of Latin Music. While most Latin jazz musicians fall into either staunch traditionalism or pursuing progressive ideas to the detriment of groove and accessibility; Palmieri marries both ideals effortlessly. With smooth, danceable rhythm, lush vocals, and a clear center to the song, combined with sophisticated arrangements, tunes like "Desea Salvaje" and "Nunca Contigo" both swing the dancer and captivate the discriminating listener. Palmieri's interest in stylistic variety, including styles like danzon, guaguanco, and cumbia, not common of '70s era salsa, enrich the album and show off his versatility. "Un Dia Bonita," a Latin suite of sorts, give the listener a clear picture of both Palmieri's virtuosity and his adventurous compositional nature. Though over the course of the record there aren't any instrumental performances to rival the piano for attention, the fierce, fiery piano is plenty. Suitable for either the casual ear of the salsa fan, or the careful attention of the jazz aficionado, The Sun of Latin Music shines brightly, high above the horizon of its peers.
AllMusic Review by Evan C. Gutierrez
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