Vuelve el Gigante

by: Charlie Palmieri

Vuelve el Gigante is subject to speculation about Alegre's intentions (payback for years of support work, riding brother Eddie Palmieri's coattails, or a serious attempt to promote older brother Charlie). In any case the album presents incredible star power and opportunity. There are compositions by Arsenio Rodriguez (the eight-minute "El Guaya Catalina"), Chico O'Farrill, Raoul Morrero, and others. Arrangers include Tito Puente; and Joe Cain was at the helm. What it comes down to, however, is the players and Charlie Palmieri. "The Giant" really should be Eddie, and Charlie is more like Jack clambering up the beanstalk and borrowing the true giant's band. Not all of the personnel is the same, of course, and Charlie certainly was entitled! And the result is wonderful, at least for one album. Charlie's more traditional, romantic, even nostalgic music is brought out, caressed and maximized by the band's effortless, modern, laid-back sound. It is like a very solidly built chair that is also plush and comfortable. Vuelve el Gigante may not be a giant of an album, but it is not one to overlook, either. ~ Tony Wilds

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