The deluxe package includes reflections by producer Zev Feldman and Brent Fischer (son of pianist Clare Fischer), liner notes by DJ and music journalist Greg Casseus, as well as interviews with Poncho Sánchez, Eddie Palmieri, Joe Locke, Gary Burton, Carl Burnett, and a statement by Tjader’s son and daughter Rob and Liz Tjader. The extensive booklet contains previously unpublished photos by Ray Avery and Fred Seligo.
All of the performances heard on this set are previously unreleased. Vibraphone legend Cal Tjader is heard with a variety of quintets, backed by pianists Clare Fischer, Lonnie Hewitt and Al Zulaica, bassists Fred Schreiber, Terry Hilliard, Monk Montgomery and Stan Gilbert, drummers Johnny Rae and Carl Burnett, and percussionists Bill Fitch and Armando Peraza.
Taking its name from Feldman’s handle “the Jazz Detective” and reflecting his determined work unearthing hitherto unheard, award-winning treasures, the Jazz Detective label is an imprint of Deep Digs Music Group, a partnership with Spain’s Elemental Music, with which Feldman has enjoyed a long professional relationship.
Feldman says, “It’s been a great thrill to be on this journey bringing these spectacular recordings of Tjader’s performances at the Penthouse to the world. It’s been a project several years in the making. I’ve had the good fortune of working with Charlie Puzzo, Jr., son of Penthouse founder, Charlie Puzzo, Sr., and the original recording engineer and radio host Jim Wilke, to produce this joyful collection of music for release. It’s just wonderful music, a little bittersweet because Cal Tjader is today, truly an under-appreciated jazz giant. To me, it’s sad that Cal Tjader’s stature seems to have diminished since his death in 1982, even though in his day, he appealed to and reached an enormous audience. And a wide audience, comprising both young and old.”
“This is a treasure trove from a great Pacific Northwest jazz club, which Cal and his sidemen regarded as one of their favorite venues in the country. And it is our hope that the superlative playing heard within this package will contribute to the large-scale reassessment that Cal Tjader has long richly deserved.” GREG CASSEUS
“On behalf of my brother, Rob, and myself, Elizabeth Tjader, we offer our sincere gratitude to Zev Feldman for releasing this outstanding collection of previously unheard recordings from Cal Tjader live at the Penthouse Jazz Club in Seattle. The audio quality of these recordings is phenomenal. It’s as if we’re transported back to the Penthouse Jazz Club itself, seated a few feet from the stage where the synergy between the audience, our dad, and the band members becomes virtually palpable.” ROB and LIZ TJADER
“I felt that Cal made a unique and important contribution to vibes history. Although he was an unlikely guy to do it, he played a significant role in blending jazz and Latin music. I say unlikely because he didn’t come from a Latin background. But he really brought together some of the most important musicians of that genre and became very popular in a field that most jazz people never knew about.” GARY BURTON
“Cal was a wonderful person. That’s why we hit it off. We were both conscientious of what we were doing. We were both artists with our own orchestras. He loved what he did, and I loved what I did. We bonded together and it was a wonderful bond.” EDDIE PALMIERI
“Cal Tjader made great music. He played beautifully. I have to say, for me, Cal Tjader was the world’s greatest vibes player.” ARMANDO PERAZA
“In those days, Cal not being a Latino was a little unusual. Nowadays, it’s not so odd because everybody’s playing Latin jazz now and salsa, but in those days, he was definitely ahead of his time. Cal’s greatness as a Latin jazz musician only proves it doesn’t matter what color you are. It’s all of our music.” – PONCHO SANCHEZ
Produced for release by Zev Feldman
Executive Producers for Elemental Music: Jordi Soley and Carlos Agustín Calembert
Associate Producers: Zak Shelby-Szyszko, Jim Wilke and Charlie Puzzo Jr.
Original recording engineer: Jim Wilke
Mixing and sound restoration by Sheldon Zaharko at Zed Productions, Vancouver, B.C.
LP mastering by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood, CA
Front cover photo by Lee Tanner
Art direction: Burton Yount
Album graphics: Gordon H. Jee
Album Package Editor: John Koenig
Legal counsel: Joel Weinstein
Photo research: Zev Feldman and Zak Shelby-Szyszko
Project assistance: Sydney B. Lanex and Martín Arias Goldestein
Special thanks to Universal Music Group (Ken Druker, Janelle Fumigachi, Scott Ravine), Greg Casseus, Cynthia Sesso at CTSIMAGES, Lisa Tanner, Brent Fischer, Claris Dodge, Carl Burnett, Poncho Sanchez, Eddie Palmieri, Gary Burton, Joe Locke, Steve and Ann Montgomery, Linda Zulaica, Vincent Lateano, John Santos, Record Store Day (Michael Kurtz and Carrie Colliton).
Extra special thanks to Elizabeth and Robert Tjader
Dedicated to the memories of Cal Tjader, Clare Fischer, Lonnie Hewitt, Monk Montgomery, Armando Peraza, Johnny Rae, Fred Schreiber, and Al Zulaica