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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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In a Latin Bag

El Records by Cherry Red



In a Latin Bag

1. Ben Hur (Love Theme)

2. Davito

3. Green Dolphin Street

4. Pauneto’s Point

5. Speak Low

6. Triste

7. Misty

8. Mambo in Miami

9. Ecstasy

10. Half and Half

Cal Tjader – Vibes

Paul Horn – Flute, alto sax

Al McKibbon – Bass

Wilfredo Vicente – Conga

Johnny Rae – Timbales

Lonnie Hewitt – Piano


Saturday Night, Sunday Night at the Blackhawk, San Francisco

11. Summertime

12. 222 Time

13. Noonie’s Groove

14. This Can’t Be Love

15. Stablemates

16. Weep

17. Fred’s Ahead

18. Stompin’ at the Savoy

Cal Tjader – Vibes

Johnny Rae – Drums

Lonnie Hewitt – Piano

Freddy Schreiber - Bass


Although this CD is called In a Latin Bag, it actually contains two LPs – one of which has nothing Latin about it. Cal Tjader became interested in Latin-American music when he was playing for Dave Brubeck, and he continued the connection with George Shearing. But he started as a jazzman and his music is always jazzy as well as often Latin.

In a Latin Bag was recorded in 1961 by a sextet including reedman Paul Horn. The mix of Latin with jazz is clear in a track like Green Dolphin Street, a favourite tune for jazz improvisers but here given a Latin rhythm and the characteristic sound of the flute. Paul Horn, Cal Tjader and Lonnie Hewitt supply solos which mingle jazz with Latin-American influences.

Added on to make a generous 76 minutes of music, the CD contains a 1962 LP recorded at the Blackhawk in San Francisco. Like the other LP, it is a mixture of jazz standards with a few originals by members of the quartet. The Latin influence is absent and this is a purely jazz recording. It displays in particular the fluent, inventive vibes playing of Cal Tjader. He even makes the hackneyed Summertime sound fresh, and he tackles new pieces like Gary McFarland’s poignant Weep. It’s all easy to listen to but it’s a cut above the average easy-listening disc, thanks to the skill of the musicians.

Tony Augarde

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