Cal Tjader

Cal Tjader [1957]

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Tjader's self-titled 1957 LP was a sedate affair, using the backing of pianist Vince Guaraldi, bassist Gene Wright, and drummer Al Torre. The slower tracks aren't quite exotica, but they get close with their languid tempos and overall drowsy feel. Things perk up, though not raucously so, for more straightahead mid-speed numbers like "When Lights Are Low," "And Baby Makes Three," and Gerry Mulligan's "Line for Lyons," reaching their highest energy on "Our Blues." There's no Latin jazz here, just modest, straightahead stuff, centered around two long medleys, one of "Summertime/Bess You Is My Woman Now/Strawberry Woman," the other of "Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?)," "Willow Weep for Me," and "'Round Midnight." The LP was paired with all but one song from the 1960 Tjader album Concert on the Campus for the single-CD reissue Our Blues.