Tag Archives: Cal Tjader

LP 279: Cal Tjader – Last Bolero In Berkeley (Fantasy, 1973)

14 Aug

Side 1
01 Gary’s Theme
02 Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
03 Charisma (She’s Got)
04 Never Can Say Goodbye

Side 2
05 Bolero
06 Cloudburst
07 Curtain Call
08 Where Is The Love
09 I Want You Back

Last Bolero In Berkeley is a most interesting mid-period LP from Cal Tjader. Released in 1973 on the Fantasy label, it’s a meandering and more spaced-out jazz record than what we’re used to. This is best exemplified by the spacious minimalism of Gary McFarland’s opening track – appropriately called Gary’s Theme – which gradually builds into an edgy chilled epic.

After that grand beginning Cal sets us up for a romantic fall with the breezy late-night smooch of Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight before mixing up the classics as he serves up a mighty tasty version of Ravel’s Bolero. Cloudburst and Curtain are breezy examples of percussive latin rhythms more suited to his late 1960s period while there’s two fantastic updates of a pair of 70s soul staples – Never Can Say Goodbye and an ultra-funky I Want You Back – to round off each side in style.

Comments and feedback are welcome.