Harlem River Drive


Leader: Eddie Palmieri
The pinnacle of Palmieri’s career as a socially conscious artist was the revolutionary group he co-led with his brother Charlie, called Harlem River Drive. The band was named after a highway that cuts through Harlem, allowing cars to bypass the local streets of the neighborhood entirely, where the rich zipped past to avoid the harsh social realities of the ghetto. For Palmieri, this highway was a symbol of the inequalities of modern society. It was no accident that his group combined Latin, soul and free jazz in a way that sought to unify all of Harlem in the face of adversity. Palmieri’s Harlem River Drive group employed members of Aretha Franklin’s band, alongside some of the most important Latin musicians and jazz soloists of the day, such as Ronnie Cuber, Barry Rogers and Bernard Purdie.
Members:Allan Taylor (5), Andy Gonzalez, Barry Rogers, Bernard Purdie, Bob Mann, Bruce Fowler (3), Burt Collins, Charlie Palmieri, Cornell Dupree, Dean Robert Pratt, Dick Meza, Eddie Palmieri, Eladio Perez, Jerry Jemmott, Jimmy Norman, Lorene Hanchard, Manny Oquendo, Marilyn Herscher, Nicky Marrero, Randy Brecker
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