Solar Heat (Digipack)
  • Cal Tjader
    Cal Tjader

Cal Tjader

Solar Heat (Digipack)

Other Labels: Jazz & Vocals

Cal Tjader (vib), João Donato (org), Mike Abene (el-p, keyb), Bobby Rodriguez, Chuck Rainey (b), Ray Barretto, Orestes Vilato (perc), Gary McFarland (arr, vib)

Reference: SK 1006 CD

Bar code: 8427328447065


The Session

The morning after a session that had gone all day and then late into the night, Cal Tjader —rumpled and unshaven, with bags packed and ready to catch a plane back to San  Francisco for his opening that night at El Matador— breathed new life into that cliché, “the tired but happyman.”

“I’ve never said it before, but I really feel this is the best album I’ve ever done,” said Cal. “The songs are right, the players are right. Everything fits.

“Right from the start, we —the players and I— started out relaxed and, well, together. No pressure, no tension. And even after nine hours in the studio, that feeling of enthusiasm —that good, excited feeling— never fizzed out, never got flat.

“Perhaps I ought to point out that this session was not produced by an A & R man in the conventional sense. A few weeks before the session, Gary McFarland and I discussed the tunes I wanted to do. We did a lot of weeding, so when we got down to the final list, they were the tunes, the ones I really related to, as we say on campus. And after Gary sketched out the arrangements, we talked about everything some more. By the time I walked into the studio, I knew where I was going.

“At the recording, instead of sitting in the booth, Gary stayed in the studio to work out changes as new ideas occurred to us. That meant we didn’t have to wait to listen to playbacks. Everything happened right on the spot. On a couple of tunes where I felt two vibes would be exciting, Gary played vibes with me, although we hadn’t set that up beforehand.

“One of the things that we had laid out very carefully beforehand, though, was the selection of the players. I brought João Donato with me from California because I know there’s nobody to match his lightness at the organ. He’s worked with Puente and a number of Latin bands around New York, but also he’s a Brazilian and has a natural feeling for the bossa nova thing. I thought he’d fit in perfectly and I was right.

“On the deep Latin tunes, I like to have authentic Latin players, and this time we wanted the best: Bobby Rodriguez on bass and Ray Barretto on congas. We also decided that they were important enough to schedule our date to their availability.

“Because I’ve been in Latin rhythm and blues for a while, Gary suggested Chuck Rainey on fender bass. Chuck’s a player who has been developing a great following among leaders; you can feel his impact on many of the rhythm and blues dates coming out of New York.

“On drums we had Grady Tate, who I firmly believe can do just about anything with drums. Here he’s playing ‘young blood drums’ —but with finesse, not like some of those guys who just sit there and play dink-dink.”

Cal checked his watch, grabbed his coat and started putting his bags together. “Well, I didn’t get to see many of the local sights, but I sure had a swell time in New York,” said Cal. Then, passing a mirror on his way out, he added, “I guess I’d better shave on the plane.”

—Excerpt taken from the original inside liner notes


01. Ode to Billy Joe (Bobby Gentry) 2:55
02. Never My Love (Burt Bacharach) 2:48
03. Felicidade (Antonio C. Jobim) 2:35
04. Mambo Sangria (Cal Tjader) 2:38
05. Here (Dave MacKay) 3:25
06. Fried Bananas (Gary McFarland) 2:36
07. Amazon (João Donato) 2:25
08. La Bamba (Traditional) 2:56
09. Eye of the Devil (Gary McFarland) 2:16
10. Solar Heat (Cal Tjader) 2:30

Album details

Originally issued as Skye Records 12-inch album SK-1

Cal Tjader (vibes), João Donato (orang), Mike Abene (electric piano, harpsichord), Bobby Rodriguez or Chuck Rainey (bass), Grady Tate (drums), Ray Barretto, Orestes Vilato (latin percussion), Gary McFarland (extra vibes).
All arrangements by Gary McFarland
Recorded at A&R Recording Studios, New York City, January 15, 1968

Sound engineer: Dave Sanders
Cover photography: Manfred Kage/Pip Photos, Inc.
Back cover & liner photo by William Levy
Design: Robert & Barbara Flynn/Viceroy

Produced by Cal Tjader & Gary McFarland
Executive producer: Norman Schwartz
℗ 1968 Skye © 2017 by Blue Moon

Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas, S.L.

Press reviews

"Where Cal Tjader leads, other musicians follow —about five years later."

—AL “Jazzbo” Collins

"A breezy background listen. Don't go into this looking for musical depth, or even a lot of heat — Solar Warmth might have been a better title — but it's absolutely enjoyable if taken on its own terms."

—Jeff Gilles (All Music Guide)


9,95 €  (tax incl.)

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