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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Music » » The South of the Border Sound!
The South of the Border Sound!
lucas vigor
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Joined: May 12, 2004
Posts: 3985
From: SOCAL
Posted: 2010-04-08 11:17 am   Permalink

As John-o has pointed out, this style of music (Exemplified by Sergio Mendes, Tijuana Brass and the Baja Marimba band) was one of the direct descendants of Exotica music. It too was easy listening, whimsical, and featured players and performers with ties to Exotica.

Of all of them, Baja Marimba had the closest connection to Exotica.

From Wikipedia:

"Julius Wechter took up several percussion instruments as a youngster, including the vibes and marimba. At age 21 he released his first solo album, called Linear Sketches (1956). The album was a straight-ahead jazz date billed as the Julius Wechter Quartet.

In 1958 Julius joined Martin Denny's band where he played marimba (replacing Arthur Lyman) as well as numerous other percussion instruments. Four years later he was paid $15 as a session man on Herb Albert's debut album, The Lonely Bull. Wechter soon composed the popular song "Spanish Flea" for Alpert, who saw his potential and encouraged him to form his own group for A&M Records.

In 1964 the Baja Marimba Band was born, using session men to supplement Wechter. These musicians included, at one time or another, Pete Jolly, Lew McCrary, Nick Ceroli, Hal Blaine, Tommy Tedesco, and Leon Russell. The band hit the charts with its first single "Comin' in the Back Door" and recorded a dozen albums for A&M, as well as being Alpert's support act. The main lineup from 1965-1971 was Bernie Fleischer on reeds, Bud Coleman on guitar, replaced by Charlie Chiarenza in 1968, Frank DeCaro on rhythm guitar, Dave Wells on trombone, Lee Katzman on trumpet, Curry Tjader on percussion, Mel Pollan on Fender bass, and Frank DeVito on drums. Most, if not all, of the band's musicians were seasoned jazz musicians who performed with such artists as Stan Kenton, Don Ellis, Terry Gibbs, Buddy DeFranco, Charlie Parker, and Dizzy Gillespie.

The group would appear on stage dressed in sombreros and old clothes, with fake mustaches, smoking cigars, and drinking beer, all of which was stereotypical Mexican behavior. Although this brought criticism from Mexican-American advocacy groups, for most Americans it was acceptable "bad boy" behavior, which was part of their image. The group appeared in goofy group photos on their album covers, stylishly created by Peter Whorf Graphics, and added a comedic allure (every one of their album covers had a man in the background appearing to be urinating.)

Seen by many as a marketing gimmick, the group rode the wake created by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass and Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66 in the musically fertile mid-'60s. The albums were cross marketed successfully by A&M, with images of Baja Marimba Band albums appearing on the record sleeves of other A&M products. All three acts were the staple of A&M during this period. The content was considered "adult contemporary" or "easy listening" and consisted mainly of standards, originals and pop covers. Despite the humorous album covers, the music inside was a light and sophisticated mixture of bossa nova, jazz, and pop elements.

All three groups lost momentum by the end of the 60's as the genre faded away. By the late '60s, Alpert's Tijuana Brass disbanded, but the Baja Marimba Band stayed together for one more album on A&M in 1971 called As Time Goes By. They had a brief reunion in 1973 with an album called The Baja Marimba Band's Back on Bell Records. During the '70s, Julius and his wife, Cissy, collaborated on film scores and musicals.

One last reunion took place in the '80s which lasted a couple of years and produced an album called Naturally in 1982. It featured two original members, guitarist Charlie Chiarenza and trombonist Dave Wells. Original drummer Frank DeVito toured with the group during this time, but was replaced for the recording by drummer Ed Roscetti. Still later, Julius Wechter formed a new group in the early 1990s called The Baja Marimbas with marimbaist Jules Greenberg, and they released one album, called New Deal.

Wechter succumbed to lung cancer in 1999, ending the Baja Marimba Band."




I really wish they would start reissuing this stuff on CDs, but the fact that they have not done so is an indication that CDs are actually on their way out. But,there is always vinyl and a LOT of these band's records are still available!

All of this music was being played at the same time the 60's rock scene was happening, and for people like me, it would have been a welcome alternative had I been of age during that time.

I am totally looking forward to Marty Lush and the Latin Livers! Sounds to me like they are on to something!


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lucas vigor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 12, 2004
Posts: 3985
From: SOCAL
Posted: 2010-04-08 11:42 am   Permalink

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2O0gomlvjjc&feature=related


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D61toAbl_58

turn down the volume on this one!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd33UYdUzQU&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-9lSZzLaXI&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0G6jQK5CKE&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-sWTPYExh0&feature=related

This one features Frank Devito, who has played recently with Bill Tapia

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksF2EXFNOOc&feature=related



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[ This Message was edited by: lucas vigor 2010-04-08 11:43 ]


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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2694
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2010-04-08 12:32 pm   Permalink

Nice links Lucas !!

Also even though it still might vibe more Exotica that Latin, even Martin Denny got in on the craze with "Latin Village" (1964) and "Spanish Village" (1965).



And Arthur Lyman released "Aloha Amigo" (1966).



Ya know, I always assumed the TJB was a Mexico City band. Little did I know that Herb Alpert was actually a nice Jewish boy from L.A's Fairfax district. Look at this album cover though, doesn't he look like a swarthy Latin lover ??



What better tunes than "Taste of Honey", "Tijuana Taxi" or "Spanish Flea" to transport you back to the mid-1960's ?? To me that's classic Tiki BAR Music !! (Although "Spanish Flea" also takes me back to the "Dating Game" TV show).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_KDPUTyDyQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-t-g_msR2o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-_2QpbXMbw


[ This Message was edited by: JOHN-O 2010-04-08 18:31 ]


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Kaiwaza
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 06, 2003
Posts: 467
From: Waikiki Beach, Hawaii
Posted: 2010-04-08 12:57 pm   Permalink

I LOVED the Tijuana Brass Sound/Baja Marimba. Whenever record shopping I always pick up not only their LPs, but all the MANY imitator cash-in groups done on both regular and budget labels....dozens of LPS by the likes of "The Mexicali Brass". "The Border Brass", "The Guadalajara Brass", etc etc etc. Love it.

 
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lucas vigor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 12, 2004
Posts: 3985
From: SOCAL
Posted: 2010-04-08 1:26 pm   Permalink

Can't forget the great Tito Puente!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIWkzwc1EAI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6fhsmVyNaw

Not vintage, but a great song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Aewq0ruLWI&feature=related

And this one, makes you want a rum based drink!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnIUJTJEnwE&feature=related

Hot marimba playing chicks!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvPMyNvWrJw&feature=related

Say this title really fast!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-FrW8O6kt0&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIgICwOkmNo&feature=related



[ This Message was edited by: lucas vigor 2010-04-08 13:29 ]


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lucas vigor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 12, 2004
Posts: 3985
From: SOCAL
Posted: 2010-04-08 1:31 pm   Permalink

And don't forget! Marty Lush and his Latin Livers Live!

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=36056&forum=17&49

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[ This Message was edited by: lucas vigor 2010-04-08 13:32 ]


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Mister Naufrago
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 20, 2008
Posts: 214
From: Spain
Posted: 2010-04-18 08:19 am   Permalink

quote]
On 2010-04-08 12:57, Kaiwaza wrote:
I LOVED the Tijuana Brass Sound/Baja Marimba. Whenever record shopping I always pick up not only their LPs, but all the MANY imitator cash-in groups done on both regular and budget labels....dozens of LPS by the likes of "The Mexicali Brass". "The Border Brass", "The Guadalajara Brass", etc etc etc. Love it.
[/quote]

I love second rate Tijuana Sound records too.
Check the iconic Whipped Cream cover "en español"






Different backcover included billboard clip showing TJB outselling the Beatles.



The Fab Four tried to counterattack





 
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arriano
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2006
Posts: 1298
From: Dog Patch - San Diego
Posted: 2010-04-21 9:21 pm   Permalink

Here's a web page with a whole bunch of those songs you can download. Call it the Tijuanabe Brass:

http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2007/08/365-days-232---.html


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