Out of the dozens of albums recorded by Eddie Palmieri during his career this one clearly stands out. They call it the white album at Fania. A glance at the cover will discover an abundance of white, hence the code-name. But there’s nothing plain about this hard-hitting ensemble. You’ll notice that there are only five titles, but prepare yourself for 36 minutes of pure, dynamic, powerful music performed as it was meant to be, by the wizard of Salsa, Mr. Eddie Palmieri. You’ll also recognize the fine work turned in by Eddie’s renowned vocalists Cheo Feliciano and Ismael Quintana who are in rare form performing as superbly as ever.
The album opens with a standard composition from the pen of Carlos Gardel, “El Dia Que Me Quieras”, but done in Palmieri-fashion. It starts off with a classical sounding arrangement that resembles a romantic danzon/tango until the Palmieri swagger comes into play. Cheo Feliciano certainly contributes with a fine job as lead vocalist, topped off by one of Eddie’s incredible, signature piano solos. The band cooks throughout with special individual performances. This first selection sets the tone for the rest of the album. which is full of surprises and spectacular performances perfectly created for dancing or music appreciation. From the first tune to the end of the fifth you’ll find it impossible to listen without the need to shake your shoulders and move your feet. Eddie’s long-time vocalist, Ismael Quintana, shines in his interpretations “No Me Hagas Sufrir” and “Ven Ven”. All in all, prepare yourself for a treat by listening to Eddie’s white album. —Bobby Marin