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Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
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Bobby “Vince” Paunetto was a vibraphonist and composer that saw the potential of Latin Jazz. Paunetto was raised in New York City, and his early love of music drew him to the vibraphone. I had the pleasure og knowing him from our Berklee years where he really got a personal and modern vibe going within the tradition-and the groove of his music.

He was a fan of everything musical- he lived in a famous musicians building that we both lived in for years called " Holmes Hall" on 49 Hememway St. Many others lived in " Holmes Hall"...guys like the great trombone player Ray Ripperton ( Minnys older brother), sax player Gary Hammond...many others. The music sure never stopped and we all shared commons bonds and love of the same notes/tones. Bobby was the first guy I met that could play/explain and really open the door to the history of Latin-jazz for me because he was there on the scene as a young cat before Berklee with a cool LP called " El Sonido Moderno: The Modern Sound Of Bobby Paunetto". The liner notes were by- Tito Puente!
Bobby always talked about how he loved Cal Tjader. He saw Cal Tjader perform in the late fifties and fell in love with Latin music, and the vibes.

I remember at Berklee he studied extensively with vibes master Gary Burton. Paunetto graduated from Berklee in 1973. His first LP, Paunetto’s Point, showed originality and a forward thinking combo of contemporary jazz and Cuban rhythms. It also included a heavy roster of musicians including trumpet player Tom Harrell, bari saxophonist Ronnie Cuber, reed player Mario Rivera ( who's apartment they rehearsed at for the dates) bassist Andy Gonzalez, timbalero Manny Oquendo, and conguero Jerry Gonzalez. As luck would have it, the recording escaped the attention of the popular music audience, but it became a highly regarded statement of artistry in the Latin Jazz world. Paunetto followed this masterpiece in 1976 with another brilliantly constructed work, Commit to Memory. Paunetto’s artistic vision seemed to be expanding into the future, but his career stopped when he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1977.

A few years ago, a day after Xmas I got a call from him. John Stubblefield ran into him, and of course Stubblefield was very aware of Bobby and HAD the famous first record! John gave Bobby my number and out of the blue came a voice from the past!
Bobbys MS was in remission, and he stopped the meds as well- because he was home ridden and really wanting to do music. He had released two albums with his Commit To Memory Band - Composer in Public and Reconstituted. These would be his last recordings. as you can imagine, his drive to get that music out was a waiting game with his return of the MS. I just found out that he passed at the age of 66 on Tuesday, August 10th, 2010.

Paunetto’s total recorded output equals a total of five albums, a small number that does not reflect the broad reach of his musical vision. Bobby Paunetto took Latin Jazz in a completely new direction. Commit to Memory took his concept one step further while his later recordings brought the man’s amazing potential.


It’s always a sad when we reflect upon the passing of a musician, and it becomes even more heartbreaking as we look back upon THAT musician that deserved wider acclaim. I thought Bobby was going to break through, more so I was hoping. In a way he got a percent of his music out here- but I know the average listener and fan has no idea about him. As a writer-he was amazing. He did really have a concept and could bring that vision to work in many areas. A brilliant warm human being too- he was a fan of everyones stuff. Someone I admired a lot for that.


Descansa en paz,Bobby Vince Paunetto
!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnBzWHhfZ3Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_upA5NKPgbA&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyoGJuTWSg4&feature=related

This one has some amazing Cuber bari solos;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWlTIs6GHLA&feature=related
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015
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Rip Bobby Puanetto. Thanks for that Tim since you so clearly put it Bobby was a master of music and i highly enjoyed all his underground recordings growing up
In NYC as part of my collection along with Eddie Palmieri opening up many parts of my brain. it was fantastical really like if Stravinsky was born in my Barrio
Interpretating the sounds around his influences. music should always be this pure and forgiving when a musicians vision can send you melodies for years to come.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
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6,260 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Rip Bobby Puanetto. Thanks for that Tim since you so clearly put it Bobby was a master of music and i highly enjoyed all his underground recordings growing up
In NYC as part of my collection along with Eddie Palmieri opening up many parts of my brain. it was fantastical really like if Stravinsky was born in my Barrio
Interpretating the sounds around his influences. music should always be this pure and forgiving when a musicians vision can send you melodies for years to come.
tinpalaceroach- Bobby lived in the building,Holmes Hall, we always were in touch. Thru him I found out who some of the masters were. Were the "clave" was, and so on. ALSO- THat Eddie Palmeri _ALSO_was a person who studied with Charlie Banacos. For quite a while too!! So there's a cool thing...to us at least!


Paunetto is the kinda guy, that should of, with what he HAD to offer been more known. "To thine own self be true" is the mantra of the true artist.It is interesting to check out the dynamic of peoples conception. YES CONCEPTION! Bobbys concept was deep, formed and very true! Totally from the fundamental latin-jazz tradition.But he knew music on face to face terms! He knew Bach, what made it work, he knew Basie and he knew Miles. Most important to me is that Bobby Vince Paunetto had a self to be true to.That is the missing component in so much of todays players and the music they do. Bobby was "old school" in the fact that the masters mentored him-helped as much as they could. His MS was a constant derailer in this- even Miles told Bobbys manager that he listented to the 1st record and dug what was going on. ( this was in mid 70's ) He was the real thing. He could of been marketed in a REAL sense for the music, but that would of been the most logical.

Also- it kinda freaked me because within the community nobody must of known! Some guys Bobby did A LOT for. Big time- they never stayed in touch with him, and of course would of been the first to call if hehad some big time gigs. That "jive" part of the business I never had room for. He did a lot of us solids....in the years we knew him. He was everybodys PR cat amoung other "players". EG-When I first met Mario Rivera he said " I heard about you for years from Bobby Vince, yea lets play".
I can't imagine this slipped thru the community- and even in whats _LEFT_of NYC, as well as that even no word reached the Berklee Community. DAMN :(

His playing and writing where absolutly originaL. Thats what he identified with because that was what he was.
 
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