Desert Island Jazz
Eddie Palmieri (2011)

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(Photo by Nick Myers and Aaron Rockers)

Pianist, composer and bandleader Eddie Palmieri was born in New York City to parents who had arrived from Puerto Rico a decade earlier. Both he and his now late older brother, Charlie, had been musical marvels as young children: Eddie was doing talent shows and gigs with Charlie starting when Eddie was aged 8, performed at Carnegie Hall when aged 11, and started his own band at age 14.

During the 1950s, Eddie played in various bands, including that of Tito Rodriguez, and in 1961 set the stage for the next 50 years with his formation of Cojunta la Perfecta, a band that was spot-on with the times and its Latin Dance craze, and which, drawing on Charanga music, introduced a new stylistic device, using two trombones and a flute rather than trumpets.

Half a century on, Eddie, who will turn 75 next week, has the energy the envy of people half his age—one of the reasons why he has no fewer than nine Grammy awards under his belt.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Miles Davis Miles Ahead Blues for Pablo Columbia
# 2 John Coltrane A Love Supreme Acknowledgment Impulse
# 3 Machito Machito and His Afro-Cubans Mambo Sentimental Polygram
# 4 Arsenio Rodríguez Legends of Cuban Music Oigan Mi Guaguancó EMI
# 5 Harlem River Drive Harlem River Drive Idle Hands Roulette
# 6 Thelonious Monk Criss Cross Tea for Two Columbia
# 7 Bob Dylan The Times, They Are A-Changing The Times, They Are A-Changing Columbia
# 8 Eddie Palmieri Vamonos Pa'l Monte Vamonos Pa'l Monte Fania
Book Henry George, "Progress and Poverty"
Luxury Item "The watch given to me by my wife 50 years ago ... a Longines ... I always treasure it: I got it on Father's Day 50 years ago."
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