Sabiduría (Ropeadope)

Eddie Palmieri

Released April 21, 2017

DownBeat Four-and-a-Half-Star Review

2017 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll Top 5 Latin Album




Eddie Palmieri’s influence on the world of modern music is often celebrated, but just as often underestimated. As he completes his 80th year with us, his energy and commitment seem to be increasing, as if to fully emphasize the power of not just the music but also the cross-cultural importance of the process. With no sign of slowing, Mr. Palmieri is the elder of a global culture of musicians, actively teaching young students and leading the way for the next generation. And now Mr. Palmieri brings to the world his first project since his back to back Grammy wins in 2005/2006 – SABIDURÍA. Sabiduría is the Spanish word for WISDOM, and the message is clear from the outset that wisdom is the exalted value that should guide us all. His intent with Sabidurí a, as it has been with all of his recordings, is to create art that will be analyzed and understood well beyond his time.
Many elements of style can be found within the experience of SABIDURÍA – funk, soul, jazz and pop are all present alongside the guiding force of rhythm. This is music you can sit to, drive to, and of course, DANCE to. The album features appearances from Donald Harrison Jr, Marcus Miller, Alfredo de la Fe, Joe Locke, Johnny Rivero, Ronnie Cuber, and David Spinnoza. SABIDURÍA may well be the best Latin Jazz record ever made, and when the dance is over we will let history decide.

Track Listing:

1. Cuerdas y Tumbao 06:44

2. Wise Bata Blues 06:39

3. Sabiduría 05:32

4. La Cancha 05:13

5. Augustine Parish 06:18

6. Life 02:52

7. Samba Do Suenho 06:37

8. Spinal Volt 05:14

9. The Uprising 07:31

10. Coast To Coast 06:47

11. Locked In 07:05

12. Jibarita y Su Son 08:02


Eddie Palmieri: piano

Vicente “Little Johnny” Rivero: congas, bata

Camilo Molina: timbales, bata

Anthony Carrillo: bongo, cowbell

Luisito Quintero: timbales

Luques Curtis: bass

Jonathan Powell: John Walsh, trumpet

Louis Fouche: alto saxophone

Joe Locke: vibraphone

Donald Harrison: alto saxophone, vocals

Alfredo de la Fé: violin

Ronnie Cuber: baritone saxophone

Obed Calvaire: drums

Bernard Purdie: drums

David Spinozza: guitar

Marcus Miller: electric bass

Recorded 2013 – 2015

All Compositions Written & Arranged by Eddie Palmieri
Music Producers: Eddie Palmieri and Eddie Palmieri II
Executive Producers: Eddie Palmieri II, Zoilo R. Torres
Recording & Mixing Engineer: Jay Messina
Assistant Engineer: Bob Mallory, Akihiro Nishimura, Tim Marchiafava, Avatar Studios, NYC
Mastering Engineer: Fred Kevorkian


In the publicity materials for Sabiduría, maestro Eddie Palmieri’s 80th birthday gift to his public, Ropeadope proposes that it “may well be the best Latin Jazz record ever made.” Hyperbole? Perhaps, but Palmieri’s first new album since 2006 is a formidable work, featuring a pair of recontextualized past hits and 10 recent compositions that reference the various streams of his musical production.
Palmieri divvies up the interpretative duties among a cohort of individualistic guest improvisers, propelled by his own mighty comping, Luques Curtis’ informed catgut bass lines and the percolating interlocking drums of conguero “Little Johnny” Rivero, timbaleros Camilo Molina and Luisito Quintero and bonguero Anthony Carrillo, configured in various combinations.

Vibraphonist Joe Locke imprints his stamp on “Samba Do Suenho,” from the Palmieri-Cal Tjader classic Bamboleate, and Donald Harrison, a frequent collaborator since the mid-’90s heyday of the Afro-Caribbean Sextet, improvises fiercely over the Caribbean-meets-Crescent City “Augustine Parish.” Alfredo De La Fé bows and plucks over Palmieri’s clusters on “Cuerdas Y Tumbao,” while Cuber, David Spinozza, Marcus Miller and Bernard Purdie funk up the title track, a boogaloo that stands with any of Palmieri’s past offerings in that genre. Still, it’s Palmieri whose sui generis piano voice steals the show.

Ted Panken (DownBeat)