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Julius Wechter Discography

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Linear Sketches/Julius Wechter Quartet Julius Wechter Quartet: Linear Sketches
Jazz:West JWLP-9

Produced by: Unknown
Arranged by Julius Wechter
Musicians: Julius Wechter (vibes), Cy Colley (alto sax), Jim Daves (electric bass), Frank DeVito (drums) Recorded May, 1956; released autumn 1956

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Track Listing:

  1. Trousseau
  2. Autumn Leaves
  3. Love Letters
  4. Melancholy Baby
  5. Cy's Blues
  6. I'll Remember You
  7. I'll Close My Eyes
  8. Sissy
An early straight-ahead jazz date featuring a young Julius Wechter. (It's possible the last track may be misspelled on the album--it could have been "Cissy.") More information will be posted on this release when available.
Baja Marimba Band Baja Marimba Band: Baja Marimba Band
A&M SP-104

Produced by Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss
Arranged by Herb Alpert & Julius Wechter
Released 1964

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Track Listing:

  1. Comin' In The Back Door 2:14
  2. Up Cherry Street 2:04
  3. Maria Elena 2:48
  4. Pedro's Porch, Part II 2:44
  5. Baja Nights 2:25
  6. Charade 2:30
  7. Moonglow/Picnic Theme 2:12
  8. Acapulco 1922 2:07
  9. Maria's First Rose 2:46
  10. Samba De Orpheu 2:55
  11. December's Child 2:07
  12. Back To Cuernavaca 3:02
A solid debut album on A&M, featuring a cast of studio musicians assisting Wechter on his first album. The music would not begin to hint at any of the "zaniness" of later albums, but on this album are some clever arrangements and tunes that would become well-loved Baja standards. "Comin' In The Back Door and "Acapulco 1922" would become staples of the band's repertoire over the years. While running gags would begin surfacing on later album covers, this album has its own little twist. Looking closer at the sombrero-topped hombres in the picture, do you notice any familiar faces behind the (mostly) fake moustaches? Well, Julius is fourth from the left, and his wife Cissy is fourth from the right. That tall chap 2nd from left is Jerry Moss; hiding behind shades and trumpet is Herb Alpert, third from right, with his wife Sharon second from the right. I'd assume the others are either A&M employees or other musicians around A&M at the time.
BJMB Rides Again Baja Marimba Band: Baja Marimba Band Rides Again
A&M SP-4109

Produced by Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss
Arranged by Herb Alpert & Julius Wechter
Released 1965

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Track Listing:

  1. Brasilia 2:36
  2. Walk On By 2:58
  3. Guacamole 2:33
  4. More 2:23
  5. Dear Heart 2:58
  6. Majorca 2:31
  7. Red Roses For A Blue Lady 2:04
  8. Hecho En Mexico 2:53
  9. Woody Woodpecker Song 1:58
  10. A Spanish Rose 3:26
  11. Juarez 2:38
  12. Goin' Out The Side Door 2:33
Almost parallel in thought to Alpert's Volume 2, this Baja album has a very Mexican feel to it--check out "Guacamole", the swinging "Juarez" (one of my all-time favorite Baja jams), and the shuffling "Brasilia". Excellent arrangements assist Bacharach's "Walk On By" and Mancini's "Dear Heart", and a lighthearted moment is on hand with "The Woody Woodpecker Song" and "Goin' Out The Side Door". This album was released with two different covers. The front of the jacket is the same, but the newer pressings had a more up-to-date group photo displayed on the back. (This group was not assembled at the time--it shows the same basic lineup as the Heads Up! album, but as with the first Baja album, this band was comprised mainly of studio musicians.) The front cover, incidentally, obviously shows a few of the "phony" Mexicans of the previous album cover (is that Alpert taking siesta on the sideboard of the bus?), and begins the running gag of the one band member who never quite makes it to the picture, due to "nature calling"!
BJMB: For Animals Only Baja Marimba Band: For Animals Only
A&M SP-4113

Produced by Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss
Arranged by Julius Wechter & Herb Alpert
Released 1965

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Track Listing:

  1. For Animals Only 2:20
  2. Puff (The Magic Dragon) 2:28
  3. Elephant Soul 2:30
  4. Gnu Bossa Nova 2:32
  5. Last Of The Red Hot Llamas 2:40
  6. La Cucaracha 2:50
  7. How Much Is That Doggie In The Window 1:55
  8. Yellow Bird 2:55
  9. Swan Waltz 3:23
  10. A Partridge In A Pear Tree 2:49
  11. El Gazelle 2:23
  12. Las Mananitas 2:57
This is a concept album for the Baja Marimba Band--most of the tracks relate to animals in some way. Also, a good portion of the tracks were penned by Wechter. The liveliest tracks are the title track and "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window". The others are nice, but don't quite have the same amount of "oomph". One notable track is "Las Mananitas", which would resurface in a nearly identical version on the Tijuana Brass Christmas Album. The cover is another work of Baja art, this time in cartoon form. It basically steals images from the first album--Alpert's visage with shades, under a sombrero with the number "one" on it, and Jerry Moss wearing the other number one sombrero. There's also a likeness of Sharon Alpert, and I can only imagine that the lady wearing only a snake and high heels might be Cissy Wechter! Of course, off in one corner, an amigo is watering the flowers...
BJMB: Watch Out! Baja Marimba Band: Watch Out!
A&M SP-4118

Produced by Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss
Arranged by Julius Wechter & Herb Alpert
Released 1966

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Track Listing:

  1. Portuguese Washerwoman 1:54
  2. The More I See You 2:07
  3. Sabor A Mi 2:52
  4. Yours 2:45
  5. Cast Your Fate To The Wind 2:45
  6. Somewhere My Love 2:47
  7. Gay Ranchero 2:49
  8. Spanish Moss 3:16
  9. Telephone Song 2:05
  10. Tomorrow Will Be Better 3:00
  11. Ghost Riders In The Sky 2:49

This fourth Baja album is one of their best, opening with the lively "Portugese Washerwoman" and closing with their wild rendition of "Ghost Riders In The Sky". Unique arrangements of "The More I See You", "Somewhere My Love" and a lazy Mexican-styled "Cast Your Fate To The Wind" are among the highlights of this set. From the cover photo, we can assume that many of the "official" Baja Marimba Band members were starting to assemble, among them Ervan "Bud" Coleman, a prolific song contributor to many A&M albums.


BJMB: Heads Up! Baja Marimba Band: Heads Up!
A&M SP-4123

Produced by Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss
Arranged by Julius Wechter
Released 1967

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Track Listing:

  1. Georgy Girl 2:35
  2. Spanish Eyes 3:00
  3. Winchester Cathedral 2:07
  4. Domingo 2:18
  5. The Odd One 2:08
  6. They Call The Wind Maria 3:00
  7. Born Free 3:00
  8. ­Cabeza Arriba! (Heads Up!) 2:30
  9. Temptation 2:31
  10. Baja Nova 2:20
  11. The Cry Of The Wild Goose 2:15

This arguably may be the best Baja Marimba album recorded. In one album it gathers most of the unique elements to their music while sporting top notch arrangments. The jacket lists the names and faces of the group, which would remain basically the same up through the Fresh Air album. (The sad exception is Ervan "Bud" Coleman, who left us way too early in his career due to surgery complications.) "Georgy Girl" is a virtual template for many of the future Baja Marimba style of arrangements that would surface on later albums. The Wechter-penned "Baja Nova" is notable for its Bossa Nova beat (naturally), and also because it appears on the Tijuana Brass Warm album...as the title track. Unique songs are "The Odd One" and "Cabeza Arriba! (Heads Up!)" which are typical of the songwriting talents in the group.


Who's Who at A&M???
Some well-known faces are pictured on the first Baja Marimba Band LP. See if you can you locate Julius Wechter, Herb Alpert, Jerry Moss, Cissy Wechter and Sharon Alpert in this photo.





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