Mexicali Brass




Closely related to the mod sound of the 1960s is Mexicali Brass. Herb Alpert's sound, however suspect, had as much of an impact on record history as any type of music. In fact, the notorious jacket for Whipped Cream & Other Delights probably gave that album more inadvertant listeners than any other. In any case, every budget label had to cash in on the trend, and hundreds of mostly awful imitation acts sprang up over night.

Ray Martin's Living Brass series has its moments on nearly every LP, and Ruben Rodriguez & his Guadalajara Kings sometimes reached the point of hipness. Mexicali brass at its best is loose and brash, like a great mariachi band toward the end of a wedding reception. Built on the same "big beat" as mod, Mexicali brass sometimes goes the extra mile with fuzz-tone guitar, car honks, and boisterous interjections ("Tequila!"). Latin rock at a beach party with margaritas is the idea.

Buying: Collecting Mexicali Brass LPs is the surest way to lose all respect, even in irony. If you must indulge this guilty pleasure, at least stick to the ones that look funny.


Mexicali Brass LPs

Rating
[Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass; A&M]
6The American Patrol; Warner Bros. WS-1653 (James Last!)
3Chet Baker & the Mariachi Brass: [all]
3The Brass Beed: Mod Mod Brass; Wyncote W-9200
6The Bravado Brass: Brass Busters; Power/Apple Honey Series DS-411
7Chaquito & the Quedo Brass: El Bandido; Fontana SRF-67604 (altar ego of John Gregory)
6Chaquito: The Big, Big Sound of Chaquito; Contour 6870.598; 1970
3The Chihuahua Marimba Band; Premier PS-9005
4Roy Etzel, The Blue Trumpet of: Spanish Brass; MGM SE-4349
3The Fantabulous Brass: A Taste of Honey & Other Mariachi Hits; MGM/Metro MS-575
4The Fiesta Brass: Viva Tijuana!; Columbia/Harmony HS-11183
1The Guadalajara Brass: [all]; Premier
6The Imperial Show Band: Tia Maria/Sad Wind; CBS/Epic 5-10005
6Joe Leahy: Tabasco & Trumpets; Capitol/Tower T-5014
7The Living Brass: Mexican Shuffle; RCA Camden CAS-907; 1965 (arr. Ray Martin)
7The Living Brass: What Now My Love & Other Favorites; RCA Camden CAS-996; 1966
6The Living Brass: In a Little Spanish Town; RCA Camden CAS-2114; 1967
6The Living Brass: That's Life; RCA Camden CAS-2143; 1967
6The Living Brass: Mexico Lindo; RCA Camden CAS-2197; 1968
7Jack de Mello & the Waikiki Brass Visit Tijuana; Dot DLP-25887
1The Mexicali Brass: [all]; Crown
5Vic Mizzy: The Caper of the Golden Bulls ST; Tower ST-5086
2The Monterey Brass: [all]; Diplomat
5Chips Murphie & his Border Brass: This is Tijuana Country; Pickwick SPC-3051
4Pancho Purcell & his Bambuco Players: Bambuco Moves In; Columbia CS-9343
5Ruben Rodriguez & his Guadalajara Kings; Liberty LST-7454
6Ruben Rodriguez & his Guadalajara Kings: Tequila & Cream; Liberty LST-7466
6Ruben Rodriguez & his Guadalajara Kings: Too Much Tequila; Liberty LST-7489
6Ted Sommer: Percussive Mariachi; Solid State SS-18012; 1967
7Al Tijuana & his Jewish Brass; Capitol ST-2596; 1966 (Artie Butler, Bob Booker, George Foster)
6The Trumpets Ole; Decca DL-74821
5The Trumpets Ole: Con Mucho Gusto; Decca DL-74911
3The Trumpets Unlimited: Sounds Tijuana!; Design/Nouveau DLP-275
6Uncredited: Col. Sanders' Tijuana Picnic; Mark 56 543
3Uncredited: Acme Markets Presents Tijuana Taxi; Mark 56
5Uncredited: Pet Ice Cream Presents Tijuana Today, Vol. 2; Mark 56 545
7Various: Light & Easy; NFL Music Library NFL-101; 1977 (mexicali/funky rock/space-electronic)
4Various: Mexican Brass--Happy Hits with a Happy Beat; RCA Victor Custom for Reader's Digest (5-LP box)


Partly Mexicali-Brass LPs

Rating
6Burt Bacharach: Casino Royale ST; Colgems COSO-5005/COMO-5005; 1967 (w/Herb Alpert, Dusty Springfield)
6Al Caiola: Tuff Guitar Tijuana Style; United Artists UAS-6473
7The Challengers: On the Move--Surfing Around the World; Atco/Vault 102; 1963 ("Happy Cowboy")
7Comparsa Universitaria de la Laguna: Magic Trumpet; RCA Victor Mexicana MKS-1634/MKL-1634; 1965 (Latin rock/Latin twist/Mexicali/mod/exotic rock)
6The Fabulous Echoes: Breakin' It Up at Dukes!; Warner Bros. WS-1695 (live in Hawaii; "Malaguena Salerosa")
7Wayne & Marin Foster: To-Get-It Together; Happynest SLP-007 (lounge act/funk/Mexicali "San Diego"/kid funk/Christmas)
6Ole Jensen & his Music; Chappell LPC-1028; 1969 (production/soul jazz/vibes/Mexicali)
8Jim & Jesse: Diesel on My Tail; Epic LN-24314 (truck; "Tijuana Taxi")
4Jonah Jones: Tijuana Taxi; Decca DL-74765
4Jonah Jones: Jazz Tropical!; Decca DL-74918
8Roland Kirk: Slightly Latin; Philips/Limelight LS-86033/LM-82033; 1966/1965; ("Juarez"; exotic/out/bagpipes/mod/Mexicali; w/Montego Joe, Manuel Ramos, Horace Parlan..)
4Liberace: New Sounds; Dot DLP-25755
7Carlos Malcolm: Don't Walk, Dance!; Roulette SR-25359; c.1964 (mod/Latin/calypso soul/jazz/Mexicali)
6Johnny Mandel: Harper ST; Mainstream S-6078 ("Mexican Breakfast")
7Gary McFarland: The In Sound; Verve V6-8632; 1965
7James Moody: Don't Look Away Now!; Prestige PRST-7625; 1969 (Eddie Jefferson on "Hey Herb! Where's Alpert?")
8Felix Morton: Big & Brassy/Peter Gordon: Light & Easy; Bosworth BLP-140; 1975 (production/soul-jazz horns/mod funk/Mexicali)
6Muzak: Stimulus Progression Number Two; Muzak SAAB-270 (production/mod/organ/Mexicali)
7Takeshi Onodera & Los Onoderas; Nivico/Stereocolor YS-5008 (mod Latin jazz percussion/Mexicali)
6Pancho Purcell & his Bambuco Players: Bambuco Moves In; Columbia CS-9343
6The Joe Rene Complex: Music to Read the Pretenders By; Philips PHS-600-327; 1969 (mod/funky rock/wordless chorus/Mexicali; soundtrack to a book!)
5Jimmy Sedlar: Movie Hits of '66; Kapp KS-3467; 1966
7Superstrings Plus: Cult & Colour; De Wolfe DWLP-3215; 1971 (production; soul jazz/soul-jazz flute/Mexicali; mainly Lee Mason)
8Nilo Toledo: Jazz in the Sun; Hoctor HLPS-4204 (funky rock/funk/disco/Afro-Beat/jazz dance/Mexicali "Banana Pudd'n"; covers of '70s hits)
8Ozzie Torrens & his Exciting Orchestra: Boogaloo in Apartment 41; Decca DL-74830 ("Tijuana Grass"; w/Louie Ramirez, Manny Duran, Charlie Palmieri, Manny Corchado..)
7Larry Wilcox & his Orchestra: Hot Rod Jazz--Tuff Saxes & Twangy Guitars; CBS/Columbia CS-8947 (hot rod/mod/Mexicali/bongo/spy/samba/jazz)
5Denny Wright & the Hustlers: Non Stop Pepsi Party; EMI/MFP 50098; 1974 (commerce/breakbeats/Mexicali; rec. at KPM studios)
6Uncredited/Various: City Background; CBS Records EZ Cue "Golden Minutes" CSM-928 (production; crime/Mexicali)
4Various: Dr. Goldfoot & the Girl Bombs ST; Capitol/Tower ST-5053 ("Dr. Goldfoot's Igloo")
6Various: Henry's Happy Sound (Heinz Hötter)/Links Electronic (The Leo Hassler Synthesizer)/Easy Listening/Modern Movement (Erwin Lehn); Bosworth BLP-131 (production/Moog/Mexicali)


[Partly] Mexicali-Brass 45s

Rating
8Angelo & his Friends: Sorrento Blue/When I Tell You that I Love You (Quando Dico Che Ti Amo); Fiesta 204
5Ray Barretto & the Conquistadores: Viva Maria/What Have They Done to the Sun?; Ascot 2202
7The Imperial Show Band: Tia Maria/Sad Wind; CBS/Epic 5-10005 (Carson Whitsett)
7The Tijuana Brats: Karate Chop/Yakety Brats; RCA Victor 47-9666


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