Catch The Groove: Live At The Penthouse 1963-1967 cover

Catch The Groove: Live At The Penthouse 1963-1967


A commercial force in jazz through the 1950s and ’60s, vibraphonist Cal Tjader has squarely landed in the “uncool” section of the 21st century. But this recent archival reissue of Tjader live from the swinging ’60s makes a compelling argument for the buttoned-up and bespectacled vibes wizard. Catch the Groove paints Tjader as a populist, sure, but one with exquisite taste in rendering jazz standards (choice Billy Strayhorn tunes) and the sunshine pop of the day (“Sunset Boulevard” and “Along Comes Mary”). But the set also serves as a reminder that Tjader was also a crucial figure in the addition of Latin and bossa nova rhythms to jazz. He delivers expert versions of “Manha de Carnaval” and “O Morro Não Tem Vez” with a bevy of crack percussionists driving it all. It’s cocktail jazz on the surface, but sophisticated and understated with fine rhythmic details, so that as you listen, these six sets pack a punch.

Andy Beta

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