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Cal Tjader

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 played drums and bongos, the latter most notably on the George Shearing Quintet's puckishly titled "Rap Your Troubles in Drums," and would occasionally sit in on piano as well.

Tjader studied music and education at San Francisco State College before hooking up with fellow Bay Area resident Dave Brubeck as the drummer in the Brubeck Trio from 1949 to 1951. He then worked with Alvino Rey, led his own group, and in 1953, joined George Shearing's then hugely popular quintet as a vibraphonist and percussionist. It was in Shearing's band that Tjader's love affair with Latin music began, ignited by Shearing's bassist Al McKibbon, nurtured by contact with Willie Bobo, Mongo Santamaria, and Armando Peraza, and galvanized by the '50s mambo craze. When he left Shearing the following year, Tjader promptly formed his own band that emphasized the Latin element yet also played mainstream jazz. Bobo and Santamaria eventually joined Tjader's band as sidemen, and Vince Guaraldi served for a while as pianist and contributor to the band's songbook ("Ginza," "Thinking of You, MJQ"). Tjader recorded a long series of mostly Latin jazz albums for Fantasy from the mid-'50s through the early '60s, switching in 1961 to Verve, where under Creed Taylor's aegis he expanded his stylistic palette and was teamed with artists like Lalo Schifrin, Anita O'Day, Kenny Burrell, and Donald Byrd. Along the way, Tjader managed to score a minor hit in 1965 with "Soul Sauce," a reworking of Dizzy Gillespie/Chano Pozo's "Guacha Guaro," which Tjader had previously cut for Fantasy. Tjader returned to Fantasy in the 1970s, then in 1979 moved over to the new Concord Picante label, where he remained until his death. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Bamboleate
obp6614cr
Have pleasure in sitting here with Cal Tjader in 1973. He undoubtedly was the best number position. In the same league with Tito Puente.
"Walk On By"Cal T,A Badd Brotha
H-Town~Groov i n * 8 7 8 * ~ 6 m 1 4 y ~
mrios0707
A SHOT OF BRANDY,A BEER, AND CAL TJADER,PALMI E R I , M O N G O AND WILLIE BOBO........ . . . . . . . . . ( S E M P E R FI) HOORAHHH
yybbu
I learned long ago if Tjader's name was on the album ,it was going to be at the least very good. He is and worked only with the best.
That is music carl tjader introduce the latin swing and brazilian beat and course mix with jazz with out doubt. Too the american audience
IT'S GREAT MUSIC
The great carl tjader
I first heard/saw Cal Tjader at the Monterey Jazz Festival in '59 or '60, memory is a little fuzzy on that ! Have held in very high regard his Latin as well as the standards that he'd played over the years. I used to have all of his Fantasy LP's, one of which is Soul Sauce and it was a green album in color ! One of my favorite tracks of his all time is: Guacha Guaro or Soul Sauce. Then there's Doxie and Walkin' With Wally that was played every nite on KJAZ in Alameda, CA in the 1960's.
fishpapa
who plays flute on the track Speak Low? - the live Cal Tjader album?
haroldmcburn e y
People say this is Mongo Santamaria's bio? Explain the first sentence:' Cal Tjader was undoubtedly the most famous NON-LATINO leader of Latin jazz bands... What is the non-Latino name? Mongo, or Santamaria?? :)
was unfortunate to see Cal t Jader at concerts by the sea. in a word incredible! nice person
Living in SanFrancisco in the 50's & hangin out at the BlackHawk ,set my musical tastes forever.Tjad e r has always been my favorite.
One of my favorites
Classic, can always appreciate some Cal Tjader :-)
I first listened to Cal as a High School student in New York, I enjoyed his music through an Air Force career. I last saw him perform in Santa Monica, CA in the 80's.
I think it is sooooo f'n DOPE that Will Farrel found a way to play Cal Tjader in The Campaign, in the scene where he seduced Marty Huggins' ladymate.... . h e even expained to her about Cal Tjader!!! Soul Burst & Plugs In are my favorite L.P's off his work!!!!
topcatcush
Cal Baby ,,, YEA , when the Band sets into the GROOVE , my spirit goes somewhere ,& I Dance .
Fenomenal!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
ojisanruss2
It was this great jazz treasure, Cal Tjader, who playing with the Dave Brubeck Trio (!) on the radio turned me on to jazz while visiting my dad in San Francisco, circa 1951-2, the tune was How High The Moon - I still play it and have loved all his latin stuff since. Ah, music, especially this, is love........ . .
gentleman's music, celestial, etc,,,,,,gre a t ! ! ! ! !
luedw46
I never Knew that Mongo played brass drums, is that correct ?
cef1953
Hello Pandora! This is a MONGO SANTAMARIA bio NOT Cal Tjader!!!
Luv to have sex with miss w to this LOL
cef1953
I feel sooooo good when I listen to Cal !!!!
i love cal jjader music goning on 50 yr
Sonny Boy...what a treat for the ears!
When I was in law school in the late 60's I saw CTjader when he played a gig at a place called The Manor on Northern Blvd in Queens, N.Y. ...what a memory...not only did I listen to him but I was able to dance to his music. I also was able to speak with him during one of his breaks and he impressed me as a genuinely friendly and nice person. His arrangements are timeless.
Ramon
Why is this bio about Mongo Santamaria?
When it should be about Cal Tjader.
Hardly anything said about him.
Pandora needs to change this.
Nice stuff by Tjader though.
Great timbal solo!!!
schapman6246
I saw Cal in L. A. (Hollywood?) in 1962.
No one does it like Tjader, hell... the guy rolled with Santamaria, an idol in his own right. who wouldve guessed the xylophone could be on the same blissful league as a steel drum or a thrashing guitar solo? everyone my age needs to start listening to Tjader. now that's real swag
ladyfox411
I remember listening to this with my mom as a little girl. This brings back really special memories.
Listening to Curacao, written by the late Clare Fischer I believe. Cal was the original drummer with Dave Brubeck. I got to see a reunion of that trio in San Francisco in the 80's. I saw Cal many times, with Lonnie Hewitt (a great player in his own right), and with my buddy Harold 'Ratzo' Harris who played bass with him for a stretch in the 70's. Cal was understated in his playing but it is so smooth, so soothing, it conjures up tropical breezes, pina coladas, and Latin atmosphere. Love it.
There was no one better than Cal; I had all of his vinyl except the one with the Dave Brubeck Octett. I met him in a store in Milbrea, Ca one Saturday afternoon and told him that...he laughed and said that I was doing better than him. He was great friends with Tito Puente; I watched a PBS probram filmed at Tito's club in New York. There were murals on the wall of all the great Afro-Cuban players. As he was telling about them, a huge mural of Cal was spotlighted. Tito said, And there is the
louram2001
WHY MONGOS' BIO ON CAL'S PAGE?
Tjader gave my old friend Lonnie Hewitt a spot...best time I saw Cal and ,sadly, the last time I talked to Lonnie, was in San Francisco in '75 when Cal did the warm up fot Tito Puente and his big band from N.Y.... incredable.
lovin Cal
I was lucky to see CAL playing at Disneyland 25th aniversary's in early ''80
sarajoe67
One of the greatest recording artist in Latin Jazz, with an early influence for others to follow, and still gets Mongo's bio in his place. Give Ceasar what belongs to Ceasar, and to Cal what he deserves.Hg
WOOOOOOOOOOO O O O O O O O O O W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Amazing, So We are in Cuba too?
A Soul Bridge
miguelito9
Fabulous!
Why is Mongo Santamaria's bio under Cal Tjader? Doesn't anyone at Pandora ever proof-read these bios?
I appreciate them
Great Sounds...... . . . . . W i s h the Kids today could appreciate them.
THE BEST OF BOTH MY WORLDS,SALSA & V I B E S .
1950s,1960s and still sounds as fresh/freshe r than cuts out today.
Captivating, Sexy, Smashing... ooh so Groovy. I was becharmed by this type of music. "007, Our Man Flint, Nutty Professor (Dr. Love)" Yeah BABY!!
The one PHENOMENAL musician I WISH I had bad the opportunity of hearing live. Tjader was my first introduction to the jazz vibraphone, which has of course led to an interest in Lional Hampton, The MJQ, Bobby Hutcherson, Terry Gibbs, and others !
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