Harlem River Drive

Harlem River Drive, led by Eddie Palmieri, was the first to combine black and Latin music styles. It also produced a unique blend of jazz, soul, jazz and fusion. Although the group was led by Palmieri (pianist), it also featured excellent musicians from the Latin community (his brother Charlie and Victor Venegas, Andy Gonsalez, and the black world (Bernard “Pretty”) Purdie, Ronnie Cuber). Harlem River Drive was named in irony to the New York City street that allowed suburban drivers to bypass East Harlem completely on their way to lower Manhattan. Their groundbreaking debut album, Harlem River Drive, was released on Roulette in 1970. It included Latin and underground club hits such as the title track and “Seeds of Life”. Although Harlem River Drive was not their album, the group did appear on Eddie Palmieri’s 1972 two-part release, Live At Sing Sing Vols. 1-2.

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