All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

259

Anita O'Day & Cal Tjader: Time for 2

By

Sign in to view read count
Norman Granz's inspired pairing of Anita O'Day with Cal Tjader pays big dividends on 1962's Time for 2. The singer's megawatt personality perfectly complements the vibraphonist's tweedy, polite style. If Tjader's highly pureed blend of cool bop and Latin jazz impeded O'Day, it does not show. Her saucy phrasings and subtly ironic wit gently layer over his thoughtful vibes work.

The Latin isn't overdone here; Time for 2 is only lightly seasoned with congas and mambo rhythms, perhaps Tjader's nod to his tenure with George Shearing. Some of the tracks are straight-ahead jazz, served crisp and cool thanks to O'Day's delicious voice. Creed Taylor, as usual, captures every note and nuance with that warm sound so lacking in today's recordings.

Where Tjader sometimes seems reticent about playing the part of the frontman on his own albums, here he quite comfortably recedes to the soft background light and gives O'Day plenty of room center-stage. She loves it, crooning in "Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year" and leading the band through a surprising mambo of "Mr. Sandman." She belts out "That's Your Red Wagon" like a great horn player and makes "An Occasional Man" sound like a misplaced composition from South Pacific. Every track presents a new color and texture, and yet the whole package feels cohesive. It's perfect cocktail hour music, great for entertaining or just relaxing on the sofa after work.

(And guys, listen up: this is the one jazz album in my collection my girlfriend loves.)

Indisputably, the great track here is "Peel Me a Grape," now a diva standard. Tjader's vibes audibly smirk behind O'Day's luscious persona of a pampered sugar baby. It's a remarkable intersection of talent, a result not easily replicated.

Although often seen as O'Day's album (and deservedly so), Tjader and his crew work some small miracles, creating an intimate big band sound with only a handful of players. These thoughtful arrangements attest to Tjader's maturity at this point in his career.

Actually, they're perhaps too tasteful. The band seems to hold back during their solos. What's more, O'Day's delightful presence suggests she wouldn't mind one bit if they unwound.

The only mystery (for me, at least) is who's playing percussion. None of the album's documentation offers a clue. My best guess is either Tjader or drummer Johnny Rae overdubbed the conga and timbale work.

Verve has reissued Time for 2 in a fold-open cardboard case with drop-out booklet. Only the original liner notes are present and no additional alternate takes are included. With the total play time clocking in just over thirty minutes, consider yourself warned (but still recommended).


Track Listing: Thanks for the Memory; It Shouldn't Happen to a Dream; Just in Time; Under a Blanket of Blue; That's Your Red Wagon; Peel Me a Grape; An Occasional Man; The Party's Over; I Believe in You; Mr. Sandman; Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year; I'm Not Supposed to Be Blue Blues

Personnel: Anita O'Day (vocals); Cal Tjader (vibes, drums); Bob Corwin or Lonnie Hewitt (piano); Freddy Schrieber (bass); Johnny Rae (drumes, vibes)

Title: Time for 2 | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Verve Music Group

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read UHHM CD/LP/Track Review
UHHM
by John Bricker
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Decoy CD/LP/Track Review
Decoy
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read "Song From No Man's Land" CD/LP/Track Review Song From No Man's Land
by Gareth Thompson
Published: April 17, 2018
Read "Viata" CD/LP/Track Review Viata
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 5, 2018
Read "Early to Late" CD/LP/Track Review Early to Late
by John Eyles
Published: March 29, 2018
Read "Shamal Wind" CD/LP/Track Review Shamal Wind
by Chris May
Published: June 1, 2018
Read "Live In Vienna, December 1st, 2016 (UK Edition)" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Vienna, December 1st, 2016 (UK Edition)
by John Kelman
Published: March 30, 2018
Read "25th Anniversary Project" CD/LP/Track Review 25th Anniversary Project
by Geannine Reid
Published: February 22, 2018