Eddie Palmieri’s “Full Circle” Revisits Salsa Classics

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Eddie Palmieri summer release of “Full Circle” will satisfy Salsa fans that love that music from the 60’s and 70’s.

Not very often do you see artists revisit their Salsa classics with their contemporary sound of today! The exception to the rule is El Gran Combo.

Revisiting Old Classics

El Gran Combo, the legendary Puerto Rican Salsa group, has been revisiting their own classics for a very long time. Every now and then they will add an old classic to a new album. For example, they added “Achilipú”, originally released in their 1972 album “De Punta a Punta” to their “Sin Salsa No Hay Paraiso” album of 2010.

Eddie Palmieri "Full Circle" list of songs
In “Full Circle” Eddie Palmieri included true classics of his vast Salsa repertoire.

At other times, they release an album full of oldies to celebrate one of their anniversaries. Such is the case with “50 Aniversario, Vol. 1”.

But if we go further back, in their 1978 album “En Las Vegas”, El Gran Combo included their classic “Irimo”, which they originally recorded in 1967.

On the same token, Palmieri is no stranger to revisiting his old classics. Examples include “Oyelo Que Te Conviene”, which he recorded in 1965 with Ismael Quintana, and in 1975 with Lalo Rodriguez. He now includes it in “Full Circle” with Herman Olivera.

He did the same in the album “La Perfecta II” (2002), where he included contemporary versions of his Salsa classics “El Molestoso” (1963), “Tirándote Flores” (1967), “Cuídate Compay” (1965), and “Tu Tu Ta Ta” (1964).

“Full Circle” is Salsa at Full Swing

Palmieri may not be officially celebrating an anniversary in music (he could if he wanted to), but “Full Circle” is homage to his early hits.

Eddie Palmieri "Full Circle" musicians
Eddie Palmieri has an extensive list of musicians in “Full Circle”. Many of them are guest on the extended version of “Vamos Pa’l Monte”.

Eddie Palmieri always had great bands. And his current one is up to the challenge. The result they produced is a great Salsa album that swings with today’s sound, but is heavy with the “old formula” for good New York-style Salsa.

Part of that New York style are the solos, which flow naturally in Latin Jazz. Palmieri has been honing both genres through the years. “Full Circle” brings a little bit of Latin Jazz into Salsa.

For example, in “Vámonos Pa’l Monte” the song features 4 different instrument solos.

The Revisited Salsa Classics in “Full Circle”

Besides “Vámonos Pa’l Monte” (originally released in 1971), “Full Circle” includes “Azucar” (1965), “Muñeca” (1964), “Lindo Yambú” (1965), “Óyelo Que Te Conviene” (1965 and 1975), “Palo Pa’ Rumba” (1984), and “Pa’ La Ocha Tambó” (1972).

All songs are sang masterfully by veteran singer Herman Olivera. Herman has been with the maestro of the piano for many years now. His style of singing with improvisations, as well as mixing the old stuff with the new, make him a perfect fit for vintage Salsa of Eddie Palmieri.

The album finishes with an extended Big Band version of “Vámons Pa’l Monte”. This song by itself is worth the album price. It includes a bunch of guest musicians invited exclusively to participate in this extended version of the song.

This album is appropriately named, as Eddie Palmieri has definitely come full circle with this Salsa music in this recording. If you love old Salsa, you’ll love this album! It’s that simple.

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