11 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Eddie Palmieri’s second full-length album of 2018 is a loving tribute to his wife Iraida—the title’s “highest light”—who passed away a few years ago. The Nuyorican keyboardist and radical salsa pioneer divides vocal duties between his orchestra’s longtime sonero Herman Olivera and guest star Gilberto Santa Rosa. The combination of singers adds color and texture to a session that also features Carlos Santana on the fiery “Mi Congo.” Beyond the title track’s heart-wrenching lyrics and swinging piano tumbao, the album revisits a number of tropical gems that Palmieri and his wife enjoyed listening to back in the ’50s. (Most of them are tasty nuggets from the songbook of Puerto Rican crooner Tito Rodríguez, for whom Palmieri played piano before going solo in the early ’60s.) From the airy, joyful vibe of “Abarriba Cumbiaremos” to the lush bolero aesthetic of “Soñando con Puerto Rico,” this is Palmieri’s strongest album in 15 years.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Eddie Palmieri’s second full-length album of 2018 is a loving tribute to his wife Iraida—the title’s “highest light”—who passed away a few years ago. The Nuyorican keyboardist and radical salsa pioneer divides vocal duties between his orchestra’s longtime sonero Herman Olivera and guest star Gilberto Santa Rosa. The combination of singers adds color and texture to a session that also features Carlos Santana on the fiery “Mi Congo.” Beyond the title track’s heart-wrenching lyrics and swinging piano tumbao, the album revisits a number of tropical gems that Palmieri and his wife enjoyed listening to back in the ’50s. (Most of them are tasty nuggets from the songbook of Puerto Rican crooner Tito Rodríguez, for whom Palmieri played piano before going solo in the early ’60s.) From the airy, joyful vibe of “Abarriba Cumbiaremos” to the lush bolero aesthetic of “Soñando con Puerto Rico,” this is Palmieri’s strongest album in 15 years.

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