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Cal Tjader: The Life and Recordings of ....

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Cal Tjader: The Life and Recordings of the Man Who Revolutionized Latin Jazz by S. Duncan Reid

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Available for pre-order or as Kindle edition - I just downloaded and will report. The author just e-mailed me and is, of course, pretty excited - me too, of course.

amazon link

Edited by mikeweil

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Wayne Wallace mentioned this book just yesterday when I had him on the show.

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$49.50? I'll be very interested when the price is half that!

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There's some interesting comments on one Youtube videos of Tjader's The Fakir:

* Excellent. Prepare for take off. Inventory check. Pistachio nuts? Hookah pipe? Efes Pilsner? Hashish? Cal Tjader CD? I am a nutty Turkish cosmonaut orbiting Istanbul in a space age hovercraft. Buckle up. Tonight we hover over the bazaar.

* there's no party like a secret agent party. swagger machine 3000: engage.

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What was he smokin' when he listened? I mean, this is one of a handfull of Tjader tracks that can be taken as a piece of exotica, but stil ...

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They're quite amusing comments. I quite like the more exotica side of Tjader, the same with Herbie Mann's world music explorations. That taste of a rumbullion, just this side of the cocktail hour.

The Tjader biography is on my reading list for this year's vacation, I'm looking forward to learning more about him.

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"Several Shades of Jade" is one of my very favorite exotica albums. It is really a Lalo Schifrin album featuring Cal as soloist. It is perfect from top to bottom.

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It is really a Lalo Schifrin album featuring Cal as soloist. It is perfect from top to bottom.

That is very well said

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It is really a Lalo Schifrin album featuring Cal as soloist. It is perfect from top to bottom.

That is very well said

It's a situation similar to Plas Johnson being the featured soloist on Les Baxter's Jungle Jazz and African Jazz, except those came out under Baxter's name, not Plas Johnson's.

Both Cal and Lalo were recording artists at Verve during that period. I've always thought it was odd that both did not get equal billing on that one, considering the respective roles of the participants.

Either way, it is a gem and easily in my top ten exotica albums ever, along with Les Baxter's Tamboo and Robert Drasnin's Voodoo.

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Cal was probably considered higher on the market chain than Lalo, especially with the former's success in the Latin genre. Never considered Several Shades of Jade to be an exotica album, excellent that it is.

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Then there's Perez Prado and Shorty Rogers Voodoo Suite with an exotica style cover, not quite there, but nicely seared.

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Never considered Several Shades of Jade to be an exotica album, excellent that it is.

Interesting. I don't know what else I would call it.

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Easy listening? World music?

Edited by Stefan Wood

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Back in the days "Exotica" was the only term in use for this genre, methinks.

One Tjader sideman told Duncan Reid (can't remember who it was) that they got a gig in Chicago because the club owner thought they were a Martin Denny type band - he probably had heard Black Orchid (the Fantasy version). No surprise this tune was revived for Several Shades of Jade.

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Easy listening? World music?

We can split hairs over how things can be categorized.

If you change the phrase "easy listening" to "mood music," which was in vogue at the time, I would say that exotica is a sub-category of mood music and that Jade fits there.

I'm not sure that "world music" as we understand it today existed back then. There were field recordings of indigenous music, and there were western releases of pop music from other countries/regions, but the kind of explorations and cross-collaborations that we think of today as "world music" were pretty minimal.

I would say that some of the differences between exotica of the postwar era and what we today call "world music" would include the impressionistic nature of exotica. Also, exotica is less focused on "authenticity" - and let me say here that I have a real issue with the concept of musical authenticity - and that it was more about taking particular aspects of music from other cultures - scales, rhythms, etc. - and then filling in the holes with more familiar conventions.

I have a very extensive postwar exotica collection/accumulation, and I can say that Jade, based on a number of characteristics, fits neatly into the genre.

Again, we can obsess and split hairs over these kind of things. But then again, categorization and ability to recognize patterns got us where we are today, for better or worse...

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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I'm 30% into this book now.  I have found it to be very informative, but not very interesting.

I suspect that Tjader was an artist whose art was more interesting than his life.

And hats off to Mike Weil, who is very frequently cited as a reference and expert!

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On 1/26/2017 at 6:56 PM, GA Russell said:

 

I suspect that Tjader was an artist whose art was more interesting than his life.

That can be a good thing.

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