Vamonos Pa’l Monte (Fania, 2009)
Vamonos pa’l Monte (Let’s go to the Mountain) is the reissue of a fabulous recording by Eddie Palmieri, one of the legends of modern Latin jazz and salsa. This 2009 remastered edition contains the original release plus previously unreleased bonus tracks. If you are familiar with Eddie Palmieri’s recent work, you probably know him as an acoustic pianist, but in the early 1970s, the Palmieri brothers, Eddie and Charlie, were a powerhouse in the area of electronic keyboards, primarily electric piano and organ. At a time when keyboard wizards like Keith Emerson (of Emerson, Lake and Palmer) and Rick Wakeman (of Yes) were revolutionizing the world of rock music, the salsa world had Eddie Palmieri and Charlie Palmieri.
Charlie Palmieri put together a musical powerhouse that included some of the finest musicians of the period. The result was an explosion of creativity, combining fiery Afro-Cuban roots, seductive salsa and innovative jazz fusion. Eddie Palmieri has many fond memories of these sessions and is specially proud of his brother’s participation: "I must say that my late dear brother Charlie played the greatest organ solo that this genre will ever hear!"
Musicians include: Eddie Palmieri as band leader and on piano; Ismael Quintana on vocals; Bob Vianco on guitar, Jose Rodriguez on trombone, Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros on trumpet, Ronnie Cuber on baritone, Nicky Marrero on timbales and bongo, Eladio Perez Perez on conga, Arturo Franquiz on clave and coro, Monchito Muñoz on bombo. Guest musicians include: Charlie Palmieri on organ, Victor Paz on trumpet, Charles Camilleri on trumpet, Pete Yellin on tenor sax, Santos Colon on coro, Justo Betancourt on coro, Marcelino Guerra on coro, Yayo El Indio on coro, Elliot Romero on coro, and Mario Muñiz on coro.
The four previously unreleased tracks (which total 42 extra minutes), includes an alternate take of "Viejo Socarron" as well as an early version of "VP Blues" (later recorded, albeit with more polish, on "Live at Sing Sing." The other two unreleased tracks are "Mixed Marriage" and "Moon Craters" — both recorded at the time, but not included on the LP. The liner notes also feature the remembrances of the album’s producer, Miguel Estivill. Here’s what John Child said about this seminal release… A milestone in Eddie Palmieri’s recording career, 1971’s Vamonos Pa’l Monte, his last studio album for Tico, adds the baritone saxophone of Ronnie Cuber to his trombone / trumpet frontline.
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Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.