Salsa Jazz in Pico Rivera, Part Two

by Nelson Rodriguez

As Eddie Palmieri’s tour continued in Los Angeles, Alma Del Barrio radio host Guido Herrera and I caught up with Eddie at A Mi Hacienda de Pico Rivera Nightclub & Restaurant in a rare performance with his band. While the crowd was expecting the Salsa orchestra band, instead they got to listen to his Latin Jazz band that consisted of Luque Curtis, Jonathan Powell, Johnny Rivero, Louis Fouche, Camilo Molina and Papo Rodriguez (guest bongocero). Believe ir or not, the band blew the roof off the venue with instrumentals of many popular Palmieri Salsa hits such as “Adoracion” and “Pa’ Huele”. Fouche and Powell did the vocals for the evening's performances.

As event organizer, Ray Carrion, mentioned during his earlier set with his all-star band, this would be a night to witness one of our living legends in a format many had not seen here in Los Angeles area since those present were mostly Salsa fans. What the fans experienced was Salsa dance music minus the vocalist.

The night was true magic for everyone, the dancers, the folks gathered in front of the stage, Canto Tropical’s Hector Resendez and my radio guest DJ Ricky Campanelli whom is visiting from Montreal, Canada.

Eddie Palmieri is, with no doubt, Artist of the Year with his Latin Jazz recording “Sabiduria/Wisdom” at the end of last year, “Full Circle” with Herman Olivera earlier this year and now “Mi Luz Mayor” to end the year as we go into 2019.

Eddie has been an innovator since the 60’s with La Perfecta and he was doing things contrary to what the industry dictated. In an era when commercial radio only aired 3-minute songs, the perfect example is the 1965 "Azucar" recording of 9 minutes and 33 seconds, although the vinyl record itself was printed as 8 minutes and 30 seconds.

Eddie Palmieri Photo credit: Erik Valind

I see a Grammy win for Eddie Palmieri in 2019.