Eddie Palmieri

Vamonos Pa'l Monte

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Eddie Palmieri's 1971 LP Vamonos Pa'l Monte moves easily from the nearly avant-garde trumpet-battle opener "Revolt/La Libertad Logico" into the new-era-meets-old "Caminando," complete with an excellent electric-piano solo by Palmieri himself. He also takes the lead on the seven-minute title-track jam, this time with organ (backed by brother Charlie), backed by a strong vocal chorus (Justo Betancourt, Santos Colon, Yayo el Indio) and the rugged timbales playing of Nick Marrero. Above and beyond the irresistible arrangements and intricate playing, Vamonos Pa'l Monte benefits from one of the best recording jobs of any early-'70s salsa record, each section -- and practically each musician -- vigorously separated with clear stereo. Though many fans consider it a transition record toward the compositional brilliance of The Sun of Latin Music, it's actually a much better record for fans of traditional salsa.

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