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Live from the Blackhawk

Cal Tjader

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Album Review

Latin jazz collectors note: the title emphatically is Jazz at the Blackhawk, and even the most determined listener will not find an iota of Cal Tjader's explorations of Latin rhythms here. In its place, we get a sturdy set of bop-flavored workouts by Tjader's expert quartet, recorded live in San Francisco's famous long-defunct nightspot. Tjader himself often sounds like Milt Jackson as he handles the mallets fluidly through a set of standards, a pair of originals by himself and his wife, and — appropriately enough — a witty Baroque-like tune by his pianist Vince Guaraldi called "Thinking of You, MJQ." Eugene "The Senator" Wright (bass) and Al Torre (piano) make up the bop rhythm section, and as long as you know what you're getting, a good time can be had. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Biography

Born: 16 July 1925 in St. Louis, MO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Cal 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...
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Live from the Blackhawk, Cal Tjader
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