Cal Tjader - Soul Burst (1966)
4 names have a lot to do with this...
Chick Corea - The whole album is just marvelously filled with Chick. In 1966, he's way ahead of the pack. The 2nd track "Descargo Cubana" is a feature on the astounding pianist, and he doesn't disappoint.
Oliver Nelson - his small group arrangements are sumptuous, shining especially on a stunning "Bilbao Song" by Kurt Weill, and the title track.
Creed Taylor - the man could do no wrong while at Verve, and he knew instinctively, uncannily even, who would sound good doing what, when, and with whom.
Cal Tjader - at a particularly creative high for this recording.
Add to that a fine, large rhythm section with Grady Tate on the drums, and the flutes of Jerry Dodgion, Seldon Powell and Jerome Richardson twirling above it all, or tearing up the solo sections - and you've got Tjader's best album of the 60's.
"Manteca" pops, bops and simmers; "It Didn't End" is highly infectious Brazilian fun; Clare Fischer's "Morning" gets it's first of several Tjader treatments, this being the simplest & most touching with a very solid vibes solo. Corea completists will want to hear "Oran" - a distinctive, angular samba that fits perfectly here. The album closes with Tjader's "Curacao" - a poignant, bluesy afro-latin 6/8 number that might change your mind about the whole Tjader bag.
At 39 minutes, it's a little short for a Desert Isle pick; but it's 39 minutes of exquisite, repeatable delight! - DJ Kendo