Cal Tjader

Amazonas

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AllMusic Review by

Cal Tjader's Brazilian explorations continue and actually deepen with this release, as he joins forces with a host of progressive young Brazilian musicians, all overseen by producer Airto Moreira. By now, Tjader had figured out how to fit into the blend, doing so by losing himself in the complex mix of Afro-Brazilian rhythms, American funk and '70s-era electronics, integrating his own identity for the sake of the ensemble. Indeed, Tjader actually appears on marimba on tracks like Joao Donato's "Amazonas" and his collaboration with Hermeto Pascoal, "Mindoro," his playing taking on a more brittle edge as a result. Tjader's Southern Hemisphere cohorts include such emerging luminaries as keyboardist Egberto Gismonti, percussionist Robertinho Silva, the sometimes wild flutist Hermeto Pascoal and on one track, the superb trombonist Raul de Souza. The intricate arrangements are in the hands of George Duke, and so are the funky, occasionally spaced-out keyboard sounds (albeit under the contractually dictated pseudonym "Dawilli Gonga").

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