Cal Tjader: Concerts In the Sun (2003)
Only in the second half, which features the dense polyrhythms of Willie Bobo and Mongo Santamaria, does the band really swing into gear. (Jazz historians will note the appearance of “Afro Blue,” a few years before Coltrane’s famous version.) However, despite the enthusiasm of the band, at this point Tjader wasn’t yet able to fully fuse the foreign rhythms and jazz concept into a convincing whole, so they come off like a bunch of guys who showed up at a black tie dinner wearing sombreros. The problem with much of Tjader’s music is that Tjader himself is frequently the least interesting thing about it; and only later, with classics like Black Orchid, was he able to create a distinctive and enjoyable Latin jazz hybrid. Of course Tjader fans will want to pick this up, but the mildly curious should explore the excellent Monterey concerts first.
Track Listing: 1. Love For Sale 2. Goodbye 3. Raccoon Straits 4. Walkin' With Wally 5. My Romance 6. Sigmund Stern Groove 7. Cubano Chant 8. Afro Blue 9. Tumbao 10. Day In, Day Out.
Personnel: Cal Tjader-vibes; Lonnie Hewitt-piano; Victor Venegas, Eddie Coleman-bass; Willie Bobo-drums; Mongo Santamaria-congas, bongos.
Record Label: Fantasy Jazz