Cal Tjader Plays Harold Arlen/West Side Story

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Two Tjader albums recorded in 1960, Cal Tjader Plays Harold Arlen and West Side Story, are combined on one CD on this 2002 reissue. Using two separate backup trios on Cal Tjader Plays Harold Arlen, Tjader took on 11 Harold Arlen songs actually all songs that he co-wrote for these two days of mid-1960 sessions, with "Over the Rainbow" and "Blues in the Night" being the most well known of those. On the first six tracks, he's backed by Buddy Motsinger on piano, Al McKibbon on bass, and Willie Bobo on drums. On the other five, Motsinger remains while bassist Red Mitchell and drummer Johnny Rae become the rhythm section; a string section on harp augments these five tracks...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Two Tjader albums recorded in 1960, Cal Tjader Plays Harold Arlen and West Side Story, are combined on one CD on this 2002 reissue. Using two separate backup trios on Cal Tjader Plays Harold Arlen, Tjader took on 11 Harold Arlen songs actually all songs that he co-wrote for these two days of mid-1960 sessions, with "Over the Rainbow" and "Blues in the Night" being the most well known of those. On the first six tracks, he's backed by Buddy Motsinger on piano, Al McKibbon on bass, and Willie Bobo on drums. On the other five, Motsinger remains while bassist Red Mitchell and drummer Johnny Rae become the rhythm section; a string section on harp augments these five tracks as well. Although these are well-crafted interpretations, the constant ballad tempos and languorous mood get sluggish taken one after the other. Clare Fischer's tense orchestral arrangements actually add a bit of wakeup spice to the latter part of the program, even as they heighten the sentimentality factor in some respects. West Side Story also employs orchestral Fischer arrangements, this time the whole way through. It's not the best envisioning of the classic musical, but it's OK. Tjader's vibes seem more appropriate for some tracks -- the jazzier ones, naturally, like "The Jet Song" and "Cool" -- than the more melodramatic ones. Mongo Santamaria's conga is heard on "Tonight," one of the better numbers, as well as "America," though some portions of the original score were omitted from the overall interpretation.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/30/2002
  • Label: Fantasy
  • UPC: 025218247528
  • Catalog Number: 24775
  • Sales rank: 228,790

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Cal Tjader Primary Artist, Vibes
Paul Horn Flute
Shelly Manne Drums
Red Mitchell Bass
Al McKibbon Bass
Johnny Rae Drums
Robert Barene Violin
Willie Bobo Drums, Timbales
Red Callender Tuba
Herman Clebanoff Violin
James A. Decker French Horn
Alvin Dinkin Violin
Clare Fischer Piano, Celeste, Conductor
Catherine Gotthoffer Harp
Lonnie Hewitt Piano
Milt Holland Drums
Virginia Majewski Viola
Leonard Malarsky Violin
Amerigo Marino Violin
Jack Pepper Violin
Richard Perissi French Horn
George Roberts Trombone
Mongo Santamaría Conga
Marshall Sosson Violin
Henry Sugar Violin
Victor Venegas Bass
Gerald Vinci Violin
Vincent DeRosa French Horn
Victor Gottlieb Cello
Technical Credits
Clare Fischer Liner Notes, Orchestral Arrangements
Richard Hadlock Liner Notes
Cal Tjader Liner Notes
Joe Tarantino Remastering
Jamie Putnam Art Direction
Chuck Ellsworth Liner Notes
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