Cal Tjader

Compact Jazz: Cal Tjader

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This Cal Tjader anthology from 1989 isn't as thoroughgoing as Talkin' Verve, as it only draws from three of his Verve albums, with the lion's share (ten of the twelve tracks, five apiece) coming from 1963's Sona Libre and 1966's Soul Burst. Nor does it quite reflect the diversity of the recordings that Cal made with then-Verve producer Creed Taylor. Nevertheless, you do get some sizzle in these selections, which include such burners as "Samba Do Sueno," and the tough Cuban-style drumming of "Descarga Cubana," the easygoing guajira "Soul Burst," and the spare, subtle groove of "It Didn't End." Throughout, it is instructive to hear pianists Chick Corea and Clare Fischer, who would go on to establish two distinctly different reputations fairly far away from salsa, comping away quite competently in a Latin rhythm section (though Chick may have the upper hand in the swing department).

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