"This Masquerade," the Leon Russell hit that made George Benson a pop superstar, was recorded just months after the guitarist hit platinum with it. Bob Redfield delivers some of Benson's Wes Montgomery-derived flair and offers another insight into Tjader's genius. His ear was quick to recognize worthy material when he heard it, whether it sprang from the pop music realm or the most obscure Latin American sources. Also, his use of a guitarist provided an element all but unused in Latin jazz but highly effective in this small-group setting. Always respectful of tradition, Cal never hesitated to break the mold if it resulted in more compelling performances.
This track is a masterpiece of Latin percussion demonstrated in a ballad setting. So many little things driving the beat in an understated manner: Cal riffing on vibes behind the guitar solo; Pete Riso's intriguing bass drums accents; large cowbell "Punctuations;" double timing the ending turnaround of Cal's closing solo.