A 2-in-1 Latin jazz spectacular from the mighty Cal Tjader! First up is the album Ritmo Caliente – one of Tjader's first Latin-tinged sessions for Fantasy
Records – and a really wonderful batch of tracks recorded with a shifting array of very hip players! In addition to Cal's vibes, and expected Latin percussion – handled by Armando Peraza on congas and bongos – the set also features some totally slamming piano work from Eddie Cano, Manuel Duran, and Richard Wyands – each of whom get a chance at the keys on the set, really helping to bring in a range of different colors and tones. An added bonus is Jerome Richardson on flute – who plays on about half of the album's tracks – in that soulfully snaking way he virtually owned back in the 50s. Tracks are short, and filled with plenty of energy – and titles include "Ritmo Caliente", "Mambo Moderno", "Alegres Timbales", "Buhutu (Nanigo 6/
8)", "Cubano Chant", "Goza", "Lamento De Hodi", "Mueve La Cintura", and "Afro Corolombo". On Mas Ritmo Caliente, Cal Tjader's working in a smoking Latin vibe throughout – and has managed to get some great extra help in his efforts! The album was mostly recorded in Chicago and New York, and these different locals seem to give the record a slightly different flavor than some of Tjader's other west coast dates from the 50s – a slightly harder Latin groove, thanks to the presence of players like Jose Chombo Silva on tenor sax, Gerald Sanfino on flute and alto, Bobby Rodriguez on bass, Mongo Santamaria on congas, Willie Bobo on timbales, and Luis Kant on percussion. Vince Guaraldi's on piano on all tracks – bringing in a nice dose of warmth next to Cal's vibes – and titles include "Mongorama", "Ritmo Africano", "Ritmo Rumba", "Tumbao", "Perdido", and "Cuco On Timbales".