The mostly obscure material (other than "Nica's Dream") and the time period may make one think that is an overtly commercial release from vibraphonist Cal Tjader. Although he utilizes the electric piano of Al Zulaica and electric bassist Jim McCabe (in addition to Armando Peraza and John Rae on percussion), Cal Tjader's music on the Live at the Lighthouse sessions found on Plugs In is actually not all that different from his usual infectious brand of Latin jazz. The ensembles swing, there are plenty of heated rhythms, and the melodies are embraced with enthusiasm. The brief playing time (33 minutes) is a minus, and few surprises occur, but the music is enjoyable.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow