Cal Tjader – Along Comes Cal (1967)

FrontCover1Cal Tjader was undoubtedly the most famous non-Latino leader of Latin jazz bands, an extraordinary distinction. From the 1950s until his death, he was practically the point man between the worlds of Latin jazz and mainstream bop; his light, rhythmic, joyous vibraphone manner could comfortably embrace both styles. His numerous recordings for Fantasy and Verve and long-standing presence in the San Francisco Bay Area eventually had a profound influence upon Carlos Santana, and thus Latin rock. He also played drums and bongos, the latter most notably on the George Shearing Quintet’s puckishly titled “Rap Your Troubles in Drums,” and would occasionally sit in on piano as well.

Tjader studied music and education at San Francisco State College before hooking up with fellow Bay Area resident Dave Brubeck as the drummer in the Brubeck Trio from 1949 to 1951. He then worked with Alvino Rey, led his own group, and in 1953, joined George Shearing’s then hugely popular quintet as a vibraphonist and percussionist. It was in Shearing’s band that Tjader’s love affair with Latin music began, ignited by Shearing’s bassist Al McKibbon, nurtured by contact with Willie Bobo, Mongo Santamaria, and Armando Peraza, and galvanized by the ’50s mambo craze. When he left Shearing the following year, Tjader promptly formed his own band that emphasized the Latin element yet also played mainstream jazz. Bobo and Santamaria eventually joined Tjader’s band as sidemen, and Vince Guaraldi served for a while as pianist and contributor to the band’s songbook (“Ginza,” “Thinking of You, MJQ”).

CalTjader01Tjader recorded a long series of mostly Latin jazz albums for Fantasy from the mid-’50s through the early ’60s, switching in 1961 to Verve, where under Creed Taylor’s aegis he expanded his stylistic palette and was teamed with artists like Lalo Schifrin, Anita O’Day, Kenny Burrell, and Donald Byrd. Along the way, Tjader managed to score a minor hit in 1965 with “Soul Sauce,” a reworking of Dizzy Gillespie/Chano Pozo’s “Guacha Guaro,” which Tjader had previously cut for Fantasy. Tjader returned to Fantasy in the 1970s, then in 1979 moved over to the new Concord Picante label, where he remained until his death. (by by Richard S. Ginell)


And this is another historic album of latin jazz by the American vibraphonist Cal Tjader, this time with the trumpeter and arranger Cuban musician Chico O’Farrill. The whole album’s musical repertoire is of Latin origin, except the theme ‘Round Midnight’. Tjader offers a catalog of jazz vibrations mixed with a range of flavored chachacha, samba, bolero and mambo rhythms in the tastiest line of his fusion style.

Los Bandidos recorded at “El Matador Club”, San Francisco, CA, January 1967
Recorded March 28 & 29 1967 at Van Gelder Studios, New Jersey

Ray Barretto (percussion)
Chick Corea (piano)
Armando Peraza (perussion)
Bobby Rodriguez (bass)
Derek Smith (organ)
Grady Tate (drums)
Cal Tjader (vibraphone)
Personnel 07. + 10.:
Carl Burnett (drums)
Stan Gilbert (bass)
Armando Peraza (percussion)
Cal Tjader (vibraphone)
Al Zulaica (piano)


01. Quando Quando Que Sera (Farrill/Marak) 2.55
02. Round Midnight (Hanighen/Monk/Williams) 3.10
03. Trick Or Treat (Randazzo/Pike) 2.18
04. Yellow Days (Bernstein/Carrillo) 2.20
05. Our Day Will Come (Garson/Hilliard) 2.39
06. Along Comes Marry (Almer) 3.22
07. Los Bandidos (Tjader) 7.17
08. Similau (Clar/Coleman) 2.51
09. Green Peppers (Sol Lake) 3.26
10. Samba Do Suenho (Tjader) 5.51



Various Artists – Beatles vs. Stones – British Pop Hits Go Groovy (2010)

FrontCover1Part of Verve’s Jazz Club series, Beatles vs. Stones collects 18 songs (nine apiece) from the two British Invasion icons, all of which arrive in the form of covers performed by the likes of Count Basie (“Michelle”), Shake Keane with the Ivor Raymonde Orchestra (“As Tears Go By”), Oscar Peterson (“Yesterday”), and Caetano Veloso (“Let It Bleed”).

Appropriately budget-priced, the concept is pure novelty, but hearing the jazz elite interpret some of the most famous rock & roll songs in history is almost worth the small change. (by James Christopher Monger)

Booklet12010 collection of cover versions of Beatles and Stones classics performed by the Jazz elite. The JAZZ CLUB series is an attractive addition to the Verve catalogue. With its modern design and popular choice of repertoire, the JAZZ CLUB is not only opened for Jazz fans, but for everyone that loves good music. This collection includes tracks performed by Count Basie, Wes Montgomery, Oscar Peterson, Sergio Mendes and many others. (by



01. Count Basie: Michelle (1966) 2.46
02. Wes Montgomery: Eleanor Rigby (1967) 3.07
03. Wills Jackson: A Hard Days Night (1965) 5.37
04. Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66: With A Little Help From My Friends (1970) 2.33
05. Monty Alexander: Let It Be (1970) 3.42
06. Oscar Peterson: Yesterday (1970) 4.04
07. Gerry Mulligan: Can t Buy Me Love (1965) 3.38
08. Ella Fitzgerald: Hey Jude (1969) 3.52
09. George Benson: Because/Come Together (1969) 7.26

All songs written by John Lennon + Paul McCartney

10. The Andrew Oldham Orchestra: Blue Turns To Grey (1966) 2.55
11. Kai Winding: Time Is On My Side (1963) 3.12
12. Shake Keane w. The Ivor Raymonde Orchestra: As Tears Go By (1968) 3.09
13. Ted Heath & His Music: Honky Tonk Women (1969) 3.23
14. Rotary Connection feat. Minnie Ripperton: The Salt Of The Earth (1969) 4.59
15. Barbara Dennerlein: Satisfaction (1999) 5.21
16. Peter Thomas Sound Orchestra: Jumpin Jack Flash (1968) 2.32
17. Cal Tjader: Gimme Shelter (1995) 2.55
18. Caetano Veloso: Let It Bleed (1968) 3.22

All songs written by Mick Hagger + Keith Richards

CD1* (coming soon)

Cal Tjader – Cuban Fantasy (2003)

FrontCover1Cuban Fantasy consists of previously unissued selections from two 1977 concerts by Cal Tjader at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, though this is anything but an example of clearing out tape vaults simply to issue new product. Joined by pianist Clare Fischer, conga player Poncho Sanchez, guitarist Bob Redfield, bassist Rob Fisher, and drummer Pete Riso, Tjader energizes the crowd with his interpretation of Ray Bryant’s infectious “Cuban Fantasy,” switching over from vibes to timbales to build it to an exciting climax. Fisher contributed the subtle “Guarabe,” while the engaging arrangement of Mongo Santamaria’s “Tu Crees Que?” would have had the audience on their feet dancing had this been recorded outdoors. This is one of Cal Tjader’s best groups, and it is a shame that this music remained hidden for a quarter century. (by Ken Dryden)

Recorded live at The Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA, June 17 & 18, 1977

Clare Fischer (piano)
Rob Fischer (bass)
Bob Redfield (guitar)
Pete Riso (drums)
Poncho Sanchez (percussion)
Cal Tjader (percussion, timbales, vibraphone)


Clare Fisher

01. Cuban Fantasy (Bryant) 6.40
02. Guarabe (Fischer) 11.10
03. Tamanco No Samba (Samba Blim) (Divo/Medeiros) 12.13
04. Tu Crees Que? (Santamaria) 5.54
05. Silenciosa (Armengol) 7.27
06. Descarga Cachao (Cachao) 10.25
07. Manuel Deeghit (Tjader)
08. Soul Sauce (Guachi Guaro) (Gillespie/Pozo) 7.31