If we're going to talk about jazz we can't forget Latin Jazz, to me Cal Tjader is the perfect introduction to the Latin rhythms. Tjader started out playing jazz in more the West Cost style on the drums and vibraphones and was able to blend this background with the vibrant rhythms of Latin Jazz. This style on the vibes led to a sound that was unlike any other at the time, he wasn't Dave Brubeck but he also wasn't Tito Puente, he had a style all his own.
Growing up my dad would put on Cal Tjader and sit back with his eyes closed, which always seemed strange to me. One afternoon I asked why, he said that Cal Tjader really knew what it was to feel the music and if you closed your eyes you could feel it too, and he was so right. So sit back, close your eyes, forget everything, and enjoy ... or dance around the room which I tend to do.
Soul Sauce, Tjader's biggest hit. I can't sit still when this is on!
Cuchy Frito Man, you can really feel the combo of West Coast and Latin Jazz.
Django has to be one of my favorite songs and Tjader's version is absolutely beautiful!