The recital presented by Clare Fischer and his Latin Jazz Quintet, in the Student Union Center at Cal State Northridge, was a coming-out party for the veteran pianist and composer. It marked his first public concert since he suffered serious injuries, including a fractured skull, in an accident last July.
Though he apologized for supposed memory lapses, Fischer on Sunday showed no signs of diminished assurance. Seated at a Roland electric keyboard in the large room, which was set up in cabaret style, he seemed completely in command as his group went through its exotic samba, merengue, bossa and Cuban motions.
Dick Mitchell was a key figure in the ensembles. In Fischer's lightly Latin flavored "Gentle Breeze," he was heard first on soprano sax, in octave unison with the leader's son, Brent Fischer, and later on flute, in tandem with Clare Fisher's full-bodied chording.
The younger Fischer is developing into a virtuoso on both four-string and six-string electric bass. He used the latter in a duo number with his father, the rhythmically intriguing "Curumin."
The propulsive undercurrent of the combo was vigorously supplied by Bernie Dresel on drums and Billy Hulting on congas. Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue" provided them with a splendidly built workout.