Vibraphonist Cal Tjader is in typically fine form on this live set from 1968. His quintet at the time featured Armand Perazza on congas and pianist Joe Kloess and his repertoire ranged from Afro-Cuban jazz to occasional straightahead tunes. Six of the eight selections on this date are originals by band members or Gary McFarland. Although Tjader had been playing this style of music for 15 years by this time, he still was quite creative and enthusiastic, and is heard throughout in excellent form.
Africa and Latin America together have moulded American popular music since the beginning of the twentieth century. African influences have led to the development of jazz, gospel and blues while successive waves of dance music from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Jamaica have largely determined its rhythm. Dance forms and musical stylings such as habanera, bolero, tango, rumba, conga, samba, baion, calypso, mambo, charleston, cha-cha-cha, bossa nova and twistall have their origins outside the USA. This compilation aims to demonstrate just how far back the roots of Latin jazz stretch, well beyond the partnership that Dizzy Gillespie forged with Chano Pozo in founding cubop, the post-war marriage of bebop with Cuban music.