Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cal Tjader: Puttin' It Together, 1974

Some funky moments on this live album recorded January 1973, especially on the last track Manuel Deeghit. The performances were at Concerts by the Sea, a jazz club on the Redondo Beach pier that lasted until at least the mid 80's. The club was run by Howard Rumsey, the bassist and founding member of the legendary West Coast jazz band the Lighthouse All-Stars, which featured some of LA's best jazz musicians of the 1950's. Through playing and hosting concerts, Rumsey has contributed to the Southern California jazz scene for most of his life. He is 94 years old and continues to play sporadically, most recently (to my knowledge) in a tribute to Stan Kenton last October.

Puttin' It Together shares most of its cast with the more popular Live at the Funky Quarters (San Diego) record that came out in 1972. On this album, Mike Wolff replaced Al Zulaica on piano and Tjader added Bob Redfield on the guitar. Ed Bogas, who produced Live, also co-produced this album and Jim Stern stayed on as the engineer. Like many prolific jazz musicians, Tjader's sound changed a lot over the years and although the Latin influence was a thread throughout his career, he was really versatile. For me, the funky semi-electric music that he got into in this era is some of his heaviest.

Cal Tjader: vibes, timbales, percussion
Mike Wolff: piano
Bob Redfield: guitar
John Heard: bass
Dick Berk: drums
Michael Smithe: congas