This year I’ve subscribed to a 3-concert series at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Earlier this year, I attended the first concert in the series, Toots Thielemans Celebrating 90 Years at Jazz At Lincoln Center. The second concert featured Eddie Palmieri, the Afro-Caribbean Jazz Octet and the Eddie Palmieri Orchestra in Eddie Palmieri: A Career Perspective.
I learned the appeal that Afro-Caribbean jazz and dance music can have. The first half of the program showcased the Afro-Caribbean Jazz Octet with the second half all Afro-Caribbean dance music. The audience could hardly stay in their seats. Literally. I saw an audience member get out of his seat and dance in a side aisle during one of the tunes. The music is appealing because of highly infectious repetitious rhythms that build to a frenzy. The musicians, particularly trumpeter Brian Lynch and trombonist Conrad Herwig, communicated a musical passion I haven’t seen in quite some time.
The only downside to the evening was the sound design. The first fifteen minutes were rough with the piano overpowering, almost painful to listen to. As I exited the hall, my ears were ringing. Maybe my ears are sensitive, but some of the frenzied music making, while enjoyable, was putting me near my threshold of pain.
Looks like I’ll be heading over to iTunes and downloading some Afro-Caribbean jazz! I enjoyed learning about a new style of music I wasn’t all that familiar with.