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The brand new Cuban Fantasy is an album of previously unreleased material Cal Tjader recorded in concert in San Francisco over two nights in June, 1977. Tjader's band had the same instrumental makeup as his 1969 Plugs In band – vibes, electric piano, electric bass, trap drums, conga drums – with the addition of an electric guitar.
In the sixties, a few rock bands with radio hits such as the Kingsmen and the Swingin' Medallions had a reputation for specializing in college fraternity parties. Cuban Fantasy is the equivalent of a west coast/Latin jazz frat party band. If there ever was a jazz band suitable for a toga party, this was it. The emphasis is on rhythm, not melody. Only one tune, the ballad "Silenciosa," has an interesting melody. The other seven songs offer simple riffs repeated by pianist Clare Fischer throughout the lengthy interplay among the young Poncho Sanchez on conga, along with trap drummer Pete Riso and Tjader himself. When not playing the vibes, Tjader (who first made his name as Dave Brubeck's drummer) joins in on the timbales, cowbell and other percussion instruments.
Guitarist Bob Redfield offers solid solos very reminiscent of Carlos Santana on "Descarga Cachao" and "Tamanco no Samba." Pianist Fischer, who was with Tjader for his first Verve album in 1963, is given a prominent place throughout the performance. He soloes on nearly every track, and does a good job keeping the mood light and swinging. Pete Riso enjoys a lengthy drum solo on "Tamanco no Samba."
The album closes with Tjader's biggest hit, "Guachi Guara" aka "Soul Sauce." Rob Fisher gets a solo on acoustic bass, followed by Sanchez's best effort, and the crowd responds with enthusiasm.
Track Listing: 1. Cuban Fantasy
3. Tamaco no Samba (Samba Blim)
4. Tu Crees Que?
6. Descarga Cachao
7. Manuel Deeghit
8. Guachi Guara
Personnel: Cal Tjader (vibes, timbales, percussion);
Clare Fischer (elec. piano);
Bob Redfield (elec. guitar);
Rob Fisher (bass);
Pete Riso (drums);
Poncho Sanchez (congas, percussion).
The best show I ever attended was going with my father to see Dizzy Gillespie play at the Royal Festival Hall in London, England. Dizzy was a man full of charisma and play. He managed to get four different sections of the audience to sing four different vocal parts in one song
The best show I ever attended was going with my father to see Dizzy Gillespie play at the Royal Festival Hall in London, England. Dizzy was a man full of charisma and play. He managed to get four different sections of the audience to sing four different vocal parts in one song. He captured everyone's attention and got us all up on our feet dancing alongside him to this incredible music we call jazz.