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Dave Samuels: Tjaderized: A Cal Tjader Tribute

This is one of those happily infectious discs that refuses to be put away. It’s a feel-good walk set to a Tjaderized Latin beat. While propelling happy feet and rejuvenating tired souls, it’s music that also tickles and satisfies our need for inspired design. The playing is at once disciplined and free. Everything connects. For that accomplishment, we can thank mastermind David Samuels, and his obviously simpatico mates, flutist Dave Valentin, saxophonist David Sanchez, keyboardists Alain Mallet, Eddie Palmieri and Michael Wolff, guitarist Steve Khan, bassist John Benitez and Joe Santiago, drummer Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, and percussionists Bobbie Allende, Karl Perazzo and Marc Quinones.

We can also thank the great writing. From Palmieri’s peppery title track, Clare Fischer’s sparkling “Bachi” and Dizzy Gillespie’s spicy “Soul Sauce” to Tjader classics like “Viva Cepeda,” everything cooks with a well-banked Latin flame. Also notable are exuberant takes on Horace Silver’s “Yeah,” Chick Corea’s “Hand Me Down” and Samuels’ “Delta Sierra.” Ole!

Originally Published