The BGP release schedule over the last few months has been dominated by compilations focusing on Bob Thiele’s Flying Dutchman label. Our Gil Scott-Heron box-set has gained rave reviews and our Leon Thomas and Lonnie Liston Smith collections have been welcomed by fans and DJs alike. However, Flying Dutchman was most definitely a jazz-based label, renowned for releasing some of the finest jazz albums of the early 1970s. To celebrate this, we are launching our “Flying Dutchman Jazz Classics” series.
Cesar Ascarrunz is a Bolivian ex-pat who washed up in San Francisco in 1960 and made a name for himself running his Cesar’s Latin Club nightspot. His sole album, “Cesar 830”, was masterminded by Bob Thiele and Miles Davis’ producer Teo Macero, who arranged the music and wrote three of the songs. Best-known today for the glorious two-step soul of ‘See Saw Affair’, the rest of the album gives us a perspective on the music that was probably big at Cesar’s club, from salsa to Latin jazz, with a touch of easy listening funk. This musical brew is eased along by some of the hottest musicians on the West Coast, including saxophonist Hadley Caliman, percussionist Francisco Aquabella and noted session singer Linda Tillery. Today Ascarrunz is still active in the Bay area, and has stood for Mayor of San Francisco on several occasions.
By Dean Rudland