In addition to an uncanny ability to hear across cultural and stylistic borders, and to attract the widest array of gifted collaborators, Cal Tjader knew how to pick material. He was especially skilled in emphasizing the Latin tinge in the compositions of jazz greats, be it overt, as in the case of Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo's "Guachi Guaro" (rechristened "Wachi Wara" and then "Soul Sauce" in subsequent versions), or more subtle. Tjader made the definitive version of Ray Bryant's "Cubano Chant," and his live "Doxy" played a major role in making that Sonny Rollins tune a standard (the original version is on OJC-245, Miles Davis's Bags' Groove). In addition to those classics, this CD pairing of two Tjader anthologies has several of the vibist's own spirited originals, excerpts from his West Side Story project, ferocious percussion support from Willie Bobo and Mongo Santamaria (especially on "Tumbao"), and even a brief appearance by Stan Getz.
with Willie Bobo, Eddie Duran, Clare Fischer, Vince Guaraldi, Lonnie Hewitt, Billy Higgins, Paul Horn, Shelly Manne, Al McKibbon, Red Mitchell, Brew Moore, Armando Peraza, Al Porcino, Jerome Richardson, Mongo Santamaria, Bayardo Velarde, and others