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.
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AllMusic Review by Richard S. Ginell