Monday, February 28, 2011

Cal Tjader ethno ventures

Far East / jazz hybrids were featured here before (see the far east tag), from ShiDaiQu of 40s and 50s to the modern recreations of same by John Huie under the Shanghai Jazz moniker, to the more modern chinese jazz fusion of Coco Zhao. Yet, there were some interesting attempts at cino-jazz by American musicians, as well. One worth checking out is Cal Tjader's Several Shades of Jade. He was a leading exponent of cross-cultural music as the man behind a number of excellent and influential latin jazz albums in the 50s. Here he steps away from latin jazz to explore the eastern music traditions - not just chinese, but also Near East (hear, for example, the Turkish-sounding jangly detuned reeds on The Fakir and Sahib). This 1963 LP is a joint effort between Tjader and Lalo Shifrin, who wrote half the material and did all arrangements. The authenticity here is a bit suspect, although I don't know enough to judge. Nonetheless, the music is engaging and easy on the ears; while it occasionally approaches kitch/easy listening territory, it doesn't really cross the border - which can be said about much of Tjader's work.

AllMusic review

Cal Tjader - Several Shades of Jade (1963)
at Oufar Khan, yorubajazz
1. The Fakir (2:53)
2. Cherry Blossoms (4:59)
3. Borneo (3:45)
4. Tokyo Blues (3:52)
5. Song Of The Yellow River (3:18)
6. Sahib (2:29)
7. China Nights (3:24)
8. Almond Tree (2:58)
9. Hot Sake (3:35)

As a bonus, Tjader's stab at South American music; most of the above applies.
AllMusic review

Cal Tjader Plays The Contemporary Music Of Mexico And Brazil
With Laurindo Almeida, Paul Horn. arr. by
depositfiles and megaupload via
mediafire, rapidshare pt.1 and pt.2, also in lossless: FLAC
01. Vai Querer (Hianto de Almeida-Fernando Lobo)
02. Qu Tristeza (Mario Ruiz Armengol)
03. Meditao (Antonio Carlos Jobim-Ferreira De Mendonca)
04. So (Mario Ruiz Armengol)
05. Se Tarde, Me Perdoa (Carlos Eduardo Lyra-Ronaldo Boscoli)
06. No Diga Nada (Carlita-Noacy Marcenes)
07. Silenciosa (Mario Ruiz Armengol)
08. Elizete (Clare Fischer)
09. Imagen (Mario Ruiz Armengol)
10. Tentaao do Inconveniente (Augusto Mesquita- Manoel de Conceicao)
11. Preciosa (Mario Ruiz Armengol)
12. Chro e Batuque (Laurindo Almeida)

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