May 29, 2024

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CD review: Cal Tjader – Catch The Groove: Live At The Penthouse 1963 – 1967 – 2023: Video, CD cover

Transferred from the original tapes, reels, and mastered for vinyl by Bernie Grundman, Cal Tjader: Catch The Groove – Live at the Penthouse 1963-1967 is presented as a 180-gram vinyl limited edition.

The deluxe package includes reflections by producer Zev Feldman and Brent Fischer (son of pianist Clare Fischer), liner notes by DJ and music journalist Greg Casseus, as well as interviews with Poncho Sánchez, Eddie Palmieri, Joe Locke, Gary Burton, Carl Burnett, and a statement by Tjader’s son and daughter Rob and Liz Tjader. The extensive booklet contains previously unpublished photos by Ray Avery and Fred Seligo.

All of the performances heard on this set are previously unreleased. Vibraphone legend Cal Tjader is heard with a variety of quintets, backed by pianists Clare Fischer, Lonnie Hewitt and Al Zulaica, bassists Fred Schreiber, Terry Hilliard, Monk Montgomery and Stan Gilbert, drummers Johnny Rae and Carl Burnett, and percussionists Bill Fitch and Armando Peraza.

Vibraphone was seldom a prominent instrument in jazz, but its potential for melody and improvisation has been realized by several outstanding artists. Among them, Cal Tjader, whose performances at Seattle’s Penthouse club are documented by these previously unreleased recordings.

Although he wasn’t Latino, Tjader was a Latin jazz pioneer and his love for music from Latin America is heard across this two-CD set, recorded at several dates from 1963-1967. He played simply but sensitively. He wasn’t a fiery player—far from it. Tjader was the Dave Brubeck of vibes. Even his salsa was cool.

Tjader swings across a wide spectrum of jazz on Catch the Groove. “Take the ‘A’ Train” rolls along at an easy pace, and the album stops down the line for melodies by Brubeck (“In Your Own Sweet Way”) and Rodgers and Hart (“It Never Entered My Mind”). His sensibility found ultimate expression in the Brazilian melancholy of Carlos Jobim’s “Morning of the Carnival.”

Catch the Groove includes a booklet containing hearty appreciations from contemporary jazz musicians, as well as an essay by New York writer-DJ Greg Casseus who speculates that Tjader never received his due in jazz history because, after a point, the San Francisco musician seldom ventured to New York and never to Europe. His influence during the ‘60s was largely felt on a generation of Latino players, who looked to him as a model for wrapping Afro-Cuban and Brazilian rhythms around jazz.

Tracklist

SIDE A 

1. Take The “A” Train

2. In Your Own Sweet Way

3. It Never Entered My Mind

4. Morning of the Carnival (Manha De Carnaval)

5. INSIGHT

Recorded at the Penthouse jazz club in Seattle, WA on February 2, 1963 Cal Tjader (vil), Clare Fischer (p), Fred Schreiber (b), Johnny Rae (dr, timb), Bill Fitch (cga, perc)

SIDE B

1. Sunset Boulevard

2. Here’s That Rainy Day

3. Davito

4. Pantano

5. Leyte

6. Half and Half

Recorded at the Penthouse jazz club in Seattle, WA on May 6, 1965, Cal Tjader (vib), Lonnie Hewitt (p), Terry Hilliard (b), Johnny Rae (dr, timb), Armando Peraza (cga, bgo)


SIDE C:

1. On Green Dolphin Street

2. Love for Sale

3. Reza

4. Maramoor Mambo

Recorded at the Penthouse jazz club in Seattle, WA on May 13, 1965 Cal Tjader (vib), Lonnie Hewitt (p), Terry Hilliard (b), Johnny Rae (dr, timb), Armando Peraza (cga, bgo)

SIDE D:

1. The Shadow Of Your Smile

2. BagS’ Groove

3. Morning

4. Mambo Inn

Recorded at the Penthouse jazz club in Seattle, WA on June 9, 1966, Cal Tiader (vib), Al Zulaica (p), Monk Montgomery (b), Carl Burnett (dr, timb), Armando Peraza (cga, bgo)


SIDE E:

1. On Green Dolphin Street

2. I Can’t Get Started

3. Soul Burst

4. Cuban Fantasy

Recorded at the Penthouse Jazz Club in Seattle. WA on June 16, 1966, Cal Tjader (vib), Al Zulaica (p), Monk Montgomery (b), Carl Burnett (dr, timb),  Armando Peraza (cga, bgo)

SIDE F:

1. O Morro Não Tem Vez

2. Fuji

3. Lush Life

4. Along Comes Mary

Recorded at the Penthouse jazz club in Seattle, WA on June 8, 1967, Cal Tjader (vib), Al Zulaica (p), Stan Gilbert (b), Carl Burnett (dr, timb), Armando Peraza (cga, bgo)

Release Date: November 24th, 2023

CAL TJADER - CATCH THE GROOVE: LIVE AT THE PENTHOUSE 1963 - 1967 | Cal  Tjader | Elemental Music Records

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