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Several Shades of Jade / Breeze from the East

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Album Review

Prodded by producer Creed Taylor, Cal Tjader turned momentarily away from pure Latin jazz to explore some polystylistic fusions of East and West on a pair of 1963 Verve albums. The first, Several Shades of Jade, finds Tjader in the intriguing company of Lalo Schifrin, who provides some searching, delicate, challenging, and yes, grooving compositions and arrangements with an emphasis on Asian scales and things, but also eager to mix in other idioms, including Tjader's beloved Latin jazz. One is, as usual, often reminded of Schifrin's film music cues, but that is a sign of a strong sonic personality — it's Schifrin, not any old film composer, that one recognizes, and Tjader solos fluidly and colorfully over the Argentinean's shifting big-band backdrops. CD annotator Paul de Barros pans Breeze from the East in unusually brutal terms — give Verve credit; they didn't flinch — but really, it's not half as bad as advertised, though some of the tourist-view Orientalisms and thwacking mid-'60s electric guitars remind one of a Peter Sellers comedy set in Hong Kong. Besides, when left some room on these AM airplay-length tracks, Tjader plays as splendidly as ever. Obviously, this is not going to be a basic Cal Tjader album, but aficionados will want to hear him in these unusual, sometimes bizarre settings. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Customer Reviews

2 Great Tjader LPs!

Really amazing stuff here!
Features the added genius of Lalo Schifrin.
Check out "The Fakir" and "Leyte" - if you enjoy them, everything else fits in between these in terms of style.

The Lighthouse Hermosa Beach 1964

I was there at age 16 at about 11pm and took in Cal Tjader performing the fakir I will never forget the out of body experience i had. The best sound
These guys were the definition of cool. And still are'
Thank you Itunes for saving these wonderful LPs


Born: July 16, 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...
Full Bio
Several Shades of Jade / Breeze from the East, Cal Tjader
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