Baja Marimba Band: As Time Goes By, reimagined?

Rudy

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This is one of my favorite Baja albums, if not my top favorite. I like that Julius took took the opportunity to stretch out into jazz with this record, vs. the formula he used on all the records from Fowl Play onward.

My original idea here was to replace two or three tracks that don't fit the theme of this album with others that sound like a better fit. Based on the tracks I like, though, it's difficult to find any that fit, since tracks like "Samba for Vicky" and "Jorjana #1" both use an upright bass which gives the tracks a totally different feel.

As others said in the AotW thread for this album, "As Time Goes By" sticks out like a sore thumb. "Spanish Flea" isn't quite as awkward but to me, it still doesn't fit. Both of these fit much better on Fresh Air or Those Were the Days, to be honest, as does "Left Field." One issue I have with some of the tracks prior to this album is that the flute is constantly mirroring the melody or countermelody--the flute is a trademark of a lot of Latin American recordings, and that is out of place on a jazz-like record. So are the "mariachi" touches like the guitar or bright brass flourishes, or the bass marimba on the earliest records.

A final consideration is the overall sound of the album--the earlier albums do not sound the same as everything from Fowl Play onward, so most of the tracks from the earliest albums don't fit. Likewise, the album on Bell sounds so cheap and atrocious that I don't listen to it often; a shame, since "Here's That Rainy Day" and "Ventura" almost fit the concept.

This is harder than it seems!

The new tracks I was considering including were:
  • Jobim's "Wave" due to the jazz arrangement--this one is almost a perfect fit for the ATGB album.
  • "Sunrise, Sunset" just due to the virtuosity. Although its sound with the electric bass feels a little awkward.
  • "Here" from Fresh Air. It's low key enough to work, but it's lacking a bit of energy. And that flute...again... 😐
  • "Elenore" from Those Were The Days is a better melody than above.
  • "Gnu Bossa Nova" is a Gmaybe on this one...the flute kind of distracts from the concept, but the clean arrangement still makes me wonder if it could fit.
  • "Cielito Lindo" is almost a shoe-in, although it is a bit too high-strung in parts to sit well in the mix.
  • "Samba Nuevo," a favorite, is almost a good fit except for that danged flute again. (Don't get me wrong, I like flutes, but the idea is a bit played out here.)
So here's a tentative new running order and track substitution for the album. The opening track will be a surprise pick--it works surprisingly well as an album opener; so does the Side B opener, for that matter. Past that, I tried to preserve most of the original album's running order, as we're so used to hearing them that way. I've created a playlist in this order and so far, I'm liking how it came out. I may make a tweak or two before I'm done, but this is holding up well.


SIDE A
  1. Midnight Sun
  2. Think of Me
  3. Samba for Vicky
  4. Wave
  5. Two for Tea
  6. Here

SIDE B
  1. Sunrise, Sunset
  2. The Big Noise from Encino
  3. Dansero
  4. Elenore
  5. Jorjana #1
  6. We've Only Just Begun
 

TjbBmb

Well-Known Member
Figured I’d replace the undesirable tracks with non album singles and leave it at 5 tracks per side.

1. Think of Me
2. Midnight Sun
3. Big Noise from Encino
4. Dansero
5. Jorjana #1

1. Man That’s Coffee
2. We’ve Only Just Begun
3. Samba for Vicky
4. Two for Tea
5. Can You Dig It
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
"Spanish Flea" isn't quite as awkward but to me, it still doesn't fit.
It would fit better as the last cut on the LP; so, use it as a night cap...some fun stuff tacked onto the end of side II.
 
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Rudy

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It would fit better as the last cut on the LP; so, use it as a night cap...some fun stuff tacked onto the end of side II.
There's a good argument to do that also. (In the past days of the CD, it's something I'd have included as a "hidden" bonus track at the end of the disc. 😁 )

I've heard the album close so many times with "We've Only Just Begun" that it's almost like part of my genetic code by now.
 

TjbBmb

Well-Known Member
Rudy, your playlist is great. Just thought I’d add mine too because it was such a great idea.
 

Rudy

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Rudy, your playlist is great. Just thought I’d add mine too because it was such a great idea.
Perfect! I'm interested to see how others might change the original album, or even if they'd leave it as-is.
 

Harry

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I'm pretty happy with AS TIME GOES BY as it is.

Trivia: only one track from AS TIME GOES BY was ever digitized onto a CD. It's "We've Only Just Begun" on a 2002 Nichols/Williams compilation from Japan.
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Steve Sidoruk

Founder, A&M Fan Net
Staff member
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There's absolutely no way that "Man, That's Coffee" and "Can You Dig It?" would fit in with the tunes on that album. Makes me think you haven't heard either one of them. "MTC" was only released in Canada - Julius told me that it wasn't released here, as someone decided that it "wasn't good enough."
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
There's absolutely no way that "Man, That's Coffee" and "Can You Dig It?" would fit in with the tunes on that album. Makes me think you haven't heard either one of them. "MTC" was only released in Canada - Julius told me that it wasn't released here, as someone decided that it "wasn't good enough."
"Not Good Enough?" If it was Good enough for Canada surely in my opinion it was Good Enough here
 

Rudy

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I revised the playlist. "Here" just kind of laid there--the melody really doesn't go anywhere, and the arrangement is also a bit lifeless. It felt like the album ground to a halt.

I substituted "Gnu Bossa Nova" and it really perked up the running order. I also swapped "Wave" and "Think of Me" which leaves the three original side one tracks' running order intact.

Even if it isn't the album "reimagined," it'd be a nice compilation that emphasized more of Julius's jazz side.

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Mike Blakesley

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I need to put that playlist together and give it a spin. It might make me appreciate that album more... haven't listened to it (in the original version) in a long time.
 
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