Vibraphonist Cal Tjader is in typically fine form on this live set from 1968. His quintet at the time featured Armand Perazza on congas and pianist Joe Kloess and his repertoire ranged from Afro-Cuban jazz to occasional straightahead tunes. Six of the eight selections on this date are originals by band members or Gary McFarland. Although Tjader had been playing this style of music for 15 years by this time, he still was quite creative and enthusiastic, and is heard throughout in excellent form.
While bandleader and pianist Arturo O'Farrill has always sought to preserve the legacy of Latin jazz, he's never been one to do so it for its own sake, but always for evolutionary purposes. The Offense of the Drum features his 18-piece Afro-Latin Jazz band – a whopping 28 percussion instruments from all over the globe – and a notable host of collaborators including Donald Harrison and Vijay Iyer. The program highlights the cultural sounds and prismatic influences of South America, Spain, and the Caribbean in modern jazz. "Cuarto de Colores" weds the Brazilian, Colombian and Afro-Cuban rhythms to post-bop big-band jazz.