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April 30, 2007

Eddie & Me


God knows I've resisted blogging because it seemed like such an ego trip, but now that I know my buddy LJ is on board and it's clear that ego tripping is normal, off we go.

When I started doing the Jazz show on Vermont Public Radio in August of 2001, Eddie Palmieri was already set up to talk & play solo piano in the VPR Performance Studio. I was terrified how little I knew about him except for the legendary Harlem River Drive album which I'd bought in the early 70's and loved to dance to, but Eddie proved to be great to interview and played piano like the giant he is.

Later that month he and his band played on the Statehouse lawn in Montpelier and then jammed across the street in a restaurant. Packing the band into a smaller space was better but both shows swung with tight horns and steamy latin percussion made vibrant by Eddie's keyboard, smiles & energy.

I'm looking forward to the hot opening show of the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival Friday June 1st with the Eddie Palmieri Afro-Caribbean Jazz Septet.              Here'a shot of Eddie & Me in 2001. Eddie_me_2001_2

April 30, 2007 at 11:03 PM in George Thomas | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Eddie Palmieri


I saw Eddie Palmieri perform in duet with Brian Lynch last summer at the Newport Jazz Festival, and that show was one of the highlights of the whole festival for me.  Donald Harrison, an alto player who came up through Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the 80s, was at the festival with McCoy Tyner, and he ended up sitting in at the end of Palmieri's set, since the three of them have apparently made some recordings together (I think "Palmas" is one of those, my music teacher in middle school played some of that for us but it has since gone out of print).  Harrison was very busy that whole festival, as he also sat in with Christian Scott (his nephew), Dr. John, and even Chris Botti (which really livened up an otherwise horrifically self-indulgent set on Botti's part--what a hack he is).

I'm looking forward to playing with the All State Jazz Band, which gets to open for Eddie Palmieri at DJF.  We opened for Ahmad Jamal last year, so I didn't get to use the piano, as they were concerned about tuning and would have to retune the piano an extra time if I played on it.  I'm just hoping Eddie Palmieri isn't quite as picky about his instruments!

April 30, 2007 at 03:56 PM in Michael Hardin | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 29, 2007

Off to a Start!


What a great kickoff for the 2007 Discover Jazz FestivalEddie Palmieri has been a personal favorite for some years--if someone had bootlegged his cradle sounds, I'd have to have a copy--and his return to the Flynn mainstage is long overdue.

With the excellent Brian Lynch (trumpet) and Conrad Herwig (trombone) up front for over a decade, Palmieri has brought his ensemble to the forefront of contemporary Latin jazz.  Wildly colorful and rhythmically alive, his concert and recording (check Palmas and Arete from the mid-1990s) high points are usually his keyboard solos.  Free ranging and complex, often exhausting and bewildering, they are breathtaking extended flights of invention, a thrill for free jazz as well as mainstream audiences.

The DJF is a celebration, and this will be an energetic start to ten days of (mostly) jazz.  The only trouble is, once the party's over the offerings become rather sparse for the rest of the long year.  Headliners predominate, while many established national and local artists find it hard going:  Where are the gigs?  Where are the venues?  Where's the audience?

But more on that later.  I'm not out to poop the party before it starts.  I'll be there on June 1 eager for the music.  See y'all.

April 29, 2007 at 04:03 PM in Lou Kannenstine | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 27, 2007

Jazz Festivals


How fortunate that we jazz fans live in the Northeast in the summer. So many festivals and possibly not enough time to see them all.

There I'm no longer a blog virgin.

April 27, 2007 at 05:25 PM in L.J. Palardy | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack