The Jazz Jousters release their monthly rendition paying homage to legendary Latin Jazz player Callen Radcliffe Tjader otherwise known as Cal Tjader.
Born in St. Louis, MO on July 16, 1925, Cal’s start in music began at San Francisco State College where he linked up with Dave Brubeck of “Take Five” fame and assumed drumming responsibilities for The Dave Brubeck Trio from 1949 to 1951. After leaving the Trio, he joined George Shearing’s quintet as a vibraphonist and percussionist. It was in this quintet that Cal’s “love affair” with Latin Jazz music began. By 1954, he released Mambo with Tjader along with pianist Manuel Duran and bassist Carlos Duran, who together Latinized various songs of mainstream music during that particular time.
Cal’s career spanned over 50 years, in which produced, composed, and wrote over 90 albums, but it wasn’t until 1965 that he scored a minor hit with “Soul Space” after having released 40 albums. Cal was an influential musician, having influenced Carlos Santana and the genre of Latin Rock, he became known as the most famous point man between Latin jazz and mainstream bop. During his career he worked with Donald Byrd, Kenny Burrell, and Lalo Schifrin to name a few.
Cal’s musical styles ranged from Afro-Cuban jazz, Latin, West Coast Jazz, World Fusion, Brazilian jazz and mood music.