Pulpo
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Pulpo

Band Latin Jazz

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Music

Press


Veteran pianist tears it up... A huge DJ Alert for Salsa and Latin Jazz fans alike. A must-have. Not to be missed! - Bruce Polin (Descarga.com)


One of my favorite things I enjoy is hot bread right out of the oven. So when I received Gilberto "Pulpo" Colón Jr.'s new CD titled "Hot Bread" I thought “great title!” Sure enough, upon listening to the CD, and being very familiar with Pulpo's music career the CD totally lived up to my expectations. Excellent music played by some excellent musicians. I am very happy and excited for Gilberto Colón Jr. on this, his debut CD. He has over 30 years of experience playing with some of the best and important artists of this genre and his artistry, musicianship and experience shine through on this recording beautifully. Bravo! - Oscar Hernández (Director of Grammy Winning SHO)


A recording like this will probably be overlooked today, though not tomorrow. The greatness of the groove, the explosion of the Puerto Rican/New York style so late in the day will be appreciated in historical terms - you know, a work of genius after the genre had flowered, etc. My suggestion: buy some of these now, give them away to friends and neighbors, get insistent with them, make them pay attention as the recording, essentially a descarga led by the ferocious montunos of Colon's piano, is a celebration of all the best things that have happened in what's called salsa. And Colon's a mean pianist, taking the band down to a whisper in some of his solos, and setting up all sorts of tricky tempo changes - listen to "Tirandote Flores" - to take the recording out of the range of the ordinary, and placing it where it should be, in the world of improvisation. Good musicians all over the date, too, including Chino Nuñez, Jorge Gonzalez, Chembo Corniel, “Pequeño” Johnny Rivero and Richie Bastar on percussion, a coro including the lead singer Papote Jiménez, and Jorge Maldonando and Eddie Rosado. José Santiago and Ray Martinez show up on bass, and there's a trombone section including José Davila, Luis Cruz and Joe de Jesús. What I like about this date is its naturalism: it sounds like a live session, really well recorded, enjoyed by both the band and the audience. Going to be hard to bump this from '08's top ten list. - Peter Watrous (Descarga.com)


A new concept CD from a very talented, latino flavored pianist - Larry Harlow


"Pulpo’s Hot Bread" es una producción que recurre al ingrediente que está frecuentemente ausente en la industria del jazz latino y la salsa moderna: El Sabor... En esta producción la excelencia es colectiva y se funde para brindarnos un compendio de jazz latino y salsa brava, para el oído, para la pista y para el coleccionista. Esta primera producción como solista confirma que regresó a sus raíces ya que con su nuevo trabajo musical convierte la nostalgia de los buenos discos en esperanza que ya esta disponible en la tienda de discos de su preferencia - Robert Padilla


Pulpo’s piano is the proverbial icing on the cake, the pies de resistance. His melodic yet “right on clave” solos are a joy to listen to and his montunos are the stuff that dreams are made of, the very essence of our music. The montuno section is the hypnotic groove that keeps it all tightly knit together while everything else is happening around it, and it is also the dough that makes this music as tasty as “HOT BREAD”. - Chico Alvarez


Discography

As a soloist:
- Hot Bread (2008)

As pianist (Not all inclusive):
- Rafi Val y La Diferente; (1971)
- Rafi Val y La Diferente; La Sociedad (1972)
- Marty Galargarza y La Conquistadora; Pinocho (1974)
- Rafi Val y La Diferente; Fuerza Bruta (1975)
- Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros; Caliente (1975)
- Andy Harlow, La Musica Brava (1976)
- Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros; Chocolate En El Barrio (1976)
- Charanga 76'; (1976)
- Pete "El Conde Rodriguez; A Touch of Class (1977)
- Héctor Lavoe; Comedia (1978)
- Tito Rodriguez Jr; Curious? Canta: José Alberto "El Canario (1978)
- Latin Percussion, Drum Solos, Volume 1, 2, 3 (1978)
- Héctor Lavoe; Recordando a Felipe Pirela (1979)
- Orquesta Novel; A Novel Experience (1979)
- La Salsa Mayor; Fuerte y Caliente (1979)
- Héctor Lavoe; El Sabio (1980)
- Don Gonzalo Fernandez Presenta Miguel Quintana (1980)
- Charanga La Tapa; Charanga (1981)
- Héctor Lavoe; Que Sentimientos (1983)
- Machito & Salsa Big Band; Live at North Sea '82 (1983)
- Louie Ramirez; Con Cache (1984)
- Frankie Morales; En Su Punto (1987)
- Frankie Morales; Sobresaliendo (1989)
- Héctor Lavoe; Live (1997)
- Adalberto Santiago; Mas Sabroso (1998)
- Junior Gonzalez; Tribute To Héctor Lavoe (2000)
- Adalberto Santiago; Cosas Del Alma (2002)
- En Vivo: A.J. Diaz Y Son De La Calle Homenaje Postume A Celia Cruz Y Tito Puente (2004)

Photos

Bio

Pulpo's resume and experience have made him one of the fastest rising pianists of his generation. After experimenting with various instruments, Pulpo ultimately joined his dear friend Oscar Hernández with piano lessons. Under the tutelage of piano luminary Charlie Palmieri, Pulpo quickly learned the essential skills for success in the competitive industry. As a teenager, Pulpo was playing at the epicenter of Salsa's Golden Age while recording & performing with some of the biggest bands in the business including Rafi Val's La Diferente, Pete "Conde" Rodriguez, and Kako's All Stars.
In 1975, Pulpo received his big break and was approached by FANIA All-Star vocalist Héctor Lavoe to be his pianist and musical director. For 16 years, Pulpo recorded and served with Lavoe while they toured throughout the world. As musical director, Pulpo integrated a second trumpet to the orchestra which proved to add an extra dimension to the already talented band. As Pulpo's popularity increased, he played and musically directed a multitude of recordings throughout the salsa circuit.
In addition, Pulpo is credited for playing with all three of the "Big 3"; The Tito Puente Orchestra, The Tito Rodriguez Orchestra, and the Machito Orchestra. Aside from his work with Lavoe, Pulpo credits his experience with the Big 3, as "the break that really took my playing to the next level." In addition, Pulpo is highly regarded as a teacher of piano and musical theory in which he taught for over 16 years at Johnny Colón's East Harlem Music School in New York City.
Pulpo's popularity in all these different circles extends far beyond his musical ability. His warm natured personality and charming sense of humor is described as infectious making him one of the industry's most pleasant pianists to work with.
In addition to his own band, Pulpo continues to play and tour with the Big 3 Palladium Orchestra. Most recently, Pulpo has become the musical director of Orquesta De La Gente (ODLG), a group dedicated to the memory of Héctor Lavoe in which they perform original tunes from the vocalist's repertoire. As musical director for ODLG and various other projects, Pulpo is widely considered one of the latin industry's most accomplished pianists.