🎵 Classic AOTW Baja Marimba Band DO YOU...SAN JOSE SP-4150

What is your favorite track?

  • I Say A Little Prayer

    Votes: 7 26.9%
  • Sunrise, Sunset

    Votes: 4 15.4%
  • San Fernando

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • Do You Know The Way To San Jose?

    Votes: 3 11.5%
  • In A Vera Cruz Vein

    Votes: 3 11.5%
  • The Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • Yes Sir, That's My Baby

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • By The Time I Get To Phoenix

    Votes: 2 7.7%
  • Sunday Mornin'

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • For Bud

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This

    Votes: 2 7.7%

  • Total voters
    26

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
Julius Wechter and the Baja Marimba Band
DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO SAN JOSE?

A&M SP-4150

sp4150.jpg


Tracks:

Side One
1. I Say A Little Prayer (Bacharach-David) 2:28
2. Sunrise, Sunset (Harnick-Bock) 3:26
3. San Fernando (William Pitman) 1:58
4. Do You Know The Way To San Jose? (Bacharach-David) 2:30
5. In A Vera Cruz Vein (Curry Tjader) 2:25
6. The Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde (Murray-Callendar) 2:28

Side Two
1. Yes Sir, That's My Baby (Kahn-Donaldson) 2:13*
2. By The Time I Get To Phoenix (Jim Webb) 3:49
3. Sunday Mornin' (Margo Guryan) 2:51
4. For Bud (Julius Wechter) 2:40
5. There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This (Fields-Coleman) 2:15
*Produced by Herb Alpert & Allen Stanton

PRODUCED BY ALLEN STANTON / ENGINEERS: LARRY LEVINE & RAY GERHARDT
ALBUM DESIGN: BY CORPORATE HEAD / ART DIRECTOR: TOM WILKES / PHOTOGRAPHY: BY GUY WEBSTER / THIS ALBUM IS ALSO AVAILABLE ON STEREO TAPES / WRITE FOR A FREE 4 COLOR A&M RECORD CATALOGUE A&M RECORDS, 1416 N. LA BREA, HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA 90028
 

Steve Sidoruk

Founder, A&M Fan Net
Staff member
Moderator
Brasilia937b.jpg

A&M 937 - Yes Sir, That's My Baby b/w Brasilia

yes+sir+937promo.jpg

A&M 937 - Yes Sir, That's My Baby b/w Brasilia - promo copy

yes+sir+937.jpg

A&M 937 - Yes Sir, That's My Baby b/w Brasilia

Brasilia937a.jpg

(not as featured in SP-4109 - despite someone's good
intentions, this was a newly recorded up-tempo version of Brasilia)

Brasilia937.jpg

A&M 937 - Yes Sir, That's My Baby b/w Brasilia

i+say+975promo.jpg

A&M 775-S - I Say A Little Prayer b/w Do You Know The Way
To San Jose
- promo copy

DoYouKnow975.jpg

A&M 775-S - I Say A Little Prayer b/w Do You Know The Way
To San Jose
- promo copy

i+say+975.jpg

A&M 975 - I Say A Little Prayer b/w Do You Know The Way
To San Jose


DoYouKnow975a.jpg

A&M 975 - I Say A Little Prayer b/w Do You Know The Way
To San Jose


DoYouKnow8517.jpg

A&M 8517 - Fiddler On The Roof b/w Do You Know The Way
To San Jose
- Forget Me Nots 45 re-issue.

Sorry to say, I could find no recording session information for this album.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
This was one of the several A&M albums which I owned on the infamous black 8-track tape cartridge. Those tapes were the most unreliable ever, and I don't think I ever had one that didn't tangle-up on me. Thus, I haven't heard this one in at least 30 years! But I remember liking it. I still really enjoy the opening track. The trumpeting style on it sounds a bit like Herb Alpert to me.
 

mexicat

Member
Great album, in particular the suite of songs on Side 2 really just works. Whoever played the electric sitar on "Sunday Mornin' " might have tuned it first but I can live with that. I've yet to hear a version of a Margo Guryan tune I haven't liked.

Mike, there's copies of this on ebay all the time for a couple of $'s, just hit the 'buy-it-now' button, you won't regret it...

Peace-

M
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
I went with "I Say A Little Prayer", a song where I can't recall ever hearing a version I didn't like. It could be my favorite Bacharach tune.

Note about our Classic Album Of The Week: this will be the last of the regular entries hosted by yours truly. I started this project about a year ago with the idea of getting the first fifty albums represented on this forum. As A&M tended to veer away from being almost exclusively an "MOR" label after this album, I personally don't own copies of all of the albums like I do with the first classic fifty.

However, others here have volunteered to step up and continue the program, perhaps getting us to SP-4200 in another year. I'll certainly eagerly participate in those albums that I do have.

Harry
 

Captain Bacardi

Well-Known Member
Moderator
"Sunrise, Sunset" got my vote for the fave track. It showcases Julius's expertise on marimba, and I love how the sound goes from speaker to speaker depending on where Julius was on the marimba. Nice little waltz version. The title track is another favorite.



Capt. Bacardi
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
It’s clear something notable occurred prior to or during these sessions. The arrangements, the playing, the overall mood…whatever occurred, the band’s definitely on fire like never before and the only obvious change was the producer’s chair — Allen Stanton. One thing for sure, there are a number of photos documenting Stanton’s BMB production of the LP.

Baja-68d.jpg


The Cover…
Though clearly too wide as-is to be used for an LP cover, the outtake shows what appears to be a different set of horses — though the BMB’s attire is the same.

Baja-68.jpg


The Songs and Performances…
  • I Say a Little Prayer. First off, there’s a notable production up-grade at hand: instrument clarity and definition are greatly improved. As for the arrangement and performance — the group seems to come across with added confidence. Devito and Mel really dig in on the minor keyed vamp which serves as the song’s hook — employing acoustic guitar, organ, and piano. The excellent first number suggests there may be something brewing (in a "man, that’s coffee" way). Primo!
  • Sunrise, Sunset: Julius’ marimba is in your head courtesy of capturing the stereophonic envelope. It’s nice to finally get a solo feature from Julius; first duetting with guitar then adding drum kit and bass guitar. Another stellar performance.
Baja-68b.jpg
  • San Fernando: Authored by Bill Pittman, this must be the selection that appears to read something like "One To Billy Pittman" in the first photo above. Another great arrangement. The acoustic guitar flourish on the fade is reminiscent of Bud Coleman. Bill is clearly visible in the photo below playing acoustic guitar (with Mel to the rear on electric bass guitar).
Baja-68c.jpg
  • Do You Know the Way to San Jose?: A crown achievement of Burt's, this amazing composition is dealt an equally solid arrangement. The out-of-nowhere key change is tops. The interplay in the arrangement is exceptional. More organ is present and it sounds like Bernie has a Veritrone attached to his flute for the second pass. That’s four-for-four! Man, these guys can’t miss!
  • In a Vera Cruz Vein: Nice 4-to-the-beat rock drumming. The bottom end climbing lick is terrific.
  • The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde: Julius is on xylophone. This closes out far and away the finest LP side the group had laid down to date — and arguably the finest LP side from A&M artist to date. Brilliant ending to Side 1.

  • Yes Sir, That’s My Baby: Equally brilliant, was opening Side 2 by continuing the '20s Bonnie and Clyde vibe. Dig the use of recorders. Then there’s that out-of-nowhere Dixieland break.
  • By the Time I Get to Phoenix: Gorgeous. The climax is incredible.
  • Sunday Mornin’: Whose playing the electric sitar? It took me awhile to recognize that this is the same song Spanky And Our Gang recorded. Julius’ arrangement is quite detailed.
  • For Bud: Not to be confused with Bud from Herb Alpert’s Ninth, this piece shows how much the group’s sound has evolved by this LP. The sound here characterized the first few LPs, but by ’68, the group escalated above and beyond…
  • There’s Gotta be Something Better Than This: Composed by Mel, this piece sounds like a TV theme. Great way to finish up this excellent LP — on a rousing jazz waltz anchored by low bone.
Do You Know the Way to San Jose? is a five-star effort from the BMB and a great way to transition into 1968. This LP is where I always start off the uninitiated: it prepares the listener for the group’s final four LPs that represent the 1968-71 artistic peak of the BMB’s A&M recording career.

(Once back in the late '90s, a friend was visiting. We’d been playing albums all day and evening and as it approached 2AM I put this LP on. It was instantly met with a sarcastic response (further embellished by the 2AM time)…however, by the end of side 1 my friend took it all back. As he stated: "I really had no idea..." — though I did point out to him that we were probably the only two people in all of America listening this LP right now.)

Baja-68a.jpg
 
Last edited:

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
My copy of this album is a Pitman pressing. It arrived in my hands sealed, but included only a plain white innersleeve.

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TjbBmb

Well-Known Member
Bill Plummer probably played sitar. He was the go to guy in LA for sitar work. He was also shown playing it in a video I saw from the Sergio documentary where they were playing Constant rain.
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
I got my Copy of this in 2006 in Stellar condition along with a few others from a place that also made needledrops of your vinyl purchases ( 2 CDs as they would say one for your archives and one to play) I voted for I say a little prayer for you Being one of my Favorite Bacharach gems I loved the whole album but Sunrise Sunset was also a standout as Julius's Best Soloing I also liked "For Bud" as a tribute to their then recently Departed Band mate Bud Coleman as well as "San Fernando" and " In A Vera Cruz vein" but it's almost impossible to just choose one standout as the whole LP is excellent listening and To Harry my Pressing is the exact same as yours the label is exactly the same this was one of the 3 BMB titles that were very very hard to find and my collection was finally complete by 2007 starting with My purchase of Greatest Hits in 1979 and ending with the original CD issue of New Deal that's 28 years and between 1986 and 2005 there was that Gap nevertheless this is just one of many Great BMB albums to be enjoyed and Cherished
 

Moritat

Well-Known Member
I'll go with the Margo Guryan song "Sunday Morning", but the arrangement on "Yes Sir That's My Baby" is very cool and the drums on "Vera Cruz" knocks me out!
 
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