Cal Tjader

The Life and Recordings of the Man Who Revolutionized Latin Jazz, 2d ed.

Second Edition


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SKU: 9781476671345 Categories: , Tags: ,

About the Book

Within one of the most complex musical categories yet to surface, Cal Tjader quietly pioneered the genre as a jazz vibraphonist, composer, arranger and bandleader from the 1950s through the 1980s. Reid tells the life story of a humble musician, written in a familiar, conversational tone that reveals Tjader’s complex charisma. Tjader left behind a legacy and a labyrinth of influence, attested by his large audience and innovation that would change the course of jazz. Expanded and revised, this intimate biography now includes additional interviews and anecdotes from Tjader’s family, bandmates, and community, print research, and rare photographs, presenting a full history of an undervalued musician, as well as a detailed account of the progression of Latin Jazz.

About the Author(s)

S. Duncan Reid was a music critic for the Thirteenth Moon (1994–1996) and has written for Wax Poetics and Jazz Podium (Germany). He lives in California.

Bibliographic Details

S. Duncan Reid

Foreword by Gary Foster

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 414
Bibliographic Info: 65 photos, glossary, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7134-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4024-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Foreword by Gary Foster 1
Preface 3
One. Tap Dancing with Bojangles to Playing with Brubeck 5
Two. Tjader Plays Mambo and Tjazz 39
Three. Reaching for the Skye 117
Four. Last Bolero in Berkeley 187
Five. Flying with Concord 247
Epilogue 275
Appendix 1. An Interview with Elizabeth A. Tjader 281
Appendix 2. An Interview with Robert C. Tjader 290
Musical Glossary by Michael Weil 295
Discography by Michael Weil and S. Duncan Reid 299
Chapter Notes 367
Bibliography and Sources 381
Index 387

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Provided plenty of information, some quite provocative, and, in doing so, has filled a gap in documenting a musician who achieved one of history’s most compelling fusions of jazz and Latin music…strongly recommended”—ARSC Journal
  • “A meticulously researched and detailed account…fills a gap in the history of Latin jazz and leaves a soulful legacy of ‘good vibes’ about a jazz great”—New Books in Jazz