Surprised by Jazz at West Palm’s Jazz on the Palm: Dr. Ed Calle

I’ve been to a few free jazz gigs in West Palm, but Friday’s Jazz on the Palm blew me away. I wasn’t familiar with him, but apparently Dr. Ed Calle has performed on hundreds of albums, with artists such as Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias, Michael Bolton, Bob James, Bobby Caldwell, Rhianna, Extreme, and Vanessa Williams. He’s been nominated for a couple of Latin Grammys, and his splendid fusion of smooth and Latin jazz he performed Friday was not what I expected.

Though Dr. Calle was quite ill will a cold, he sure didn’t show it with his stratospheric sax playing. His rhythm section was tight, jazzy, funky at times, and traded off some spectacular solos with Dr. Calle. He also had a solid 4 piece horn section accompanying him in over two hours of great jazz.

As I mentioned before, I wasn’t expecting the tight smooth jazz Dr. Calle plays. I figured I’d be in for an enjoyable but somewhat bland trio or quartet doing the “standards” and trading off solos. The music I found was closer to the Rippingtons than to what I expected.

The night was peppered with great solos, great transitions, great blend, and great original arrangements. Some compositions were a good deal more than eight or nine minutes, but seemed to pass in two or three.

If you have the opportunity to hear Dr. Calle and band, don’t miss it!

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