Eddie Palmieri – “Cuerdas y Tumbao”

Eddie Sabiduria, “Cuerdas y Tumbao,” from Sabiduria (Ropeadope)

The 80-year Latin music legend may claim that he is not a jazz pianist, but with this album Eddie Palmieri has come up with one of the strongest Afro-Cuban jazz recordings of his career. He leads a very strong core group with three percussionists and four horns, and welcomes such guests as vibraphonist Joe Locke, baritonist Ronnie Cuber and altoist Donald Harrison. The stirring rhythms, heated solos, infectious ensemble work and superior material make Sabiduria a memorable set for both dancing and close listening. —Scott Yanow

“Cuerdas y Tumbao,” today’s Song of the Day, offers a riveting blend of Afro-Latin percussion and strings, the latter coming courtesy of Cuban-born, New York-based violin phenom Alfredo de la Fé, whose double-stop solo moves at breakneck speed around the rhythm section’s tight corners. As always, Palmieri’s piano playing is sweet, vibrant and irresistibly groovy, and his propulsive left-hand tumbao rhythm drives the song toward a blazing conclusion.

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