🎵 Classic AOTW Baja Marimba Band HEADS UP SP-4123

What is your favorite track?

  • Georgy Girl

    Votes: 9 33.3%
  • Spanish Eyes

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Winchester Cathedral

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Domingo

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The Odd One

    Votes: 2 7.4%
  • They Call The Wind Maria

    Votes: 2 7.4%
  • Born Free

    Votes: 1 3.7%
  • Cabeza Arriba! (Heads Up!)

    Votes: 1 3.7%
  • Temptation

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Baja Nova

    Votes: 8 29.6%
  • The Cry Of The Wild Goose

    Votes: 4 14.8%

  • Total voters
    27

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
Baja Marimba Band
HEADS UP!

A&M SP-4123

sp4123.jpg


Also released as mono LP-123

Tracks:

Side One
1. Georgy Girl (Springfield-Dale) 2:35
2. Spanish Eyes (Burt Kaempfert) 3:00
3. Winchester Cathedral (Geoff Stephens) 2:07
4. Domingo (Mel Pollan) 2:18
5. The Odd One (Bud Coleman) 2:08
6. They Call The Wind Maria (Lerner-Lowe) 3:00

Side Two
1. Born Free (John Barry) 3:00
­2. Cabeza Arriba! (Heads Up!) (Julius Wechter) 2:30
3. Temptation (Nacio Brown) 2:31
4. Baja Nova (Julius Wechter) 2:20
5. The Cry Of The Wild Goose (T. Gilkyson) 2:15

JULIUS WECHTER - Leader & Marimba
FRANK DeCARO - Rhythm Guitar
DAVE WELLS - Trombone & Bass Trombone
FRANK DEVITO - Drums
LEE KATZMAN - Trumpet
BUD COLEMAN - Lead Guitar & Mandolin
BERNIE FLEISCHER - Flute, Piccolo & Alto Flute
MEL POLLAN - Fender Bass
CURRY TJADER - Bass Marimba & Percussion

Produced by: Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss
Arranged by: Julius Wechter
Engineered by: Bruce Botnick
Album Designed by: Peter Whorf Graphics
 

Dave

Well-Known Member
I impulsively clicked on "Georgy Girl"...

Yes, having been briefly curious about this group and at least having For Animals Only on 8-Track, I did buy Greatest Hits and should have been sold on it enough to have bought Heads Up...

The track is real catchy and as an instrumental, especially with the marimba/bass marimba and piccolo and flute work, comes off superb...!

Almost as though IT could've been the backing track for The Seekers version...!!!

(Or maybe these guys could'a backed Judith Durham...!!!) :laugh:



Dave
 

Moritat

Well-Known Member
BMB put together a perfect arrangement for Georgy Girl, which was my choice. A close second is Cry Of The Wild Goose. All in all, one of the finest Baja albums, but I still believe their first lp was their best.
 

Captain Bacardi

Well-Known Member
Moderator
I went with "Baja Nova" as my favorite tune (which most of us recognize as "Warm"). Nice marimba and flute work. "Temptation" and "Domingo" are other faves. I hated "Georgy Girl" and "Winchester Cathedral".



Capt. Bacardi
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
I like the way many of the Baja album cover logos seem to follow a similiar style in their typography.

My favorite on this album used to be "Cry of the Wild Goose" -- I would play the 8-track over and over and keep switching to that song. These days I tend to lean more toward "Baja Nova" or "Georgy Girl."

I don't like "Winchester Cathedral" either....never could understand the popularity of that song.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
Add me to the list of "Winchester Cathedral" dislikers.

I think I'm with the Captain here on picking "Baja Nova" as favorite, though I also like their take on "Georgy Girl".

Harry
 

Mike

Active Member
It's Georgy Girl all the way! Crank it up, it's the best cover of this song out there.

Mike
 

Steve Sidoruk

Founder, A&M Fan Net
Staff member
Moderator
CRY+Trade.jpg

Cash Box trade ad January 28, 1967

CryOfWild833.jpg

A&M 833 The Cry Of The Wild Goose b/w Spanish Moss

CryOfWild833b.jpg

A&M 833 The Cry Of The Wild Goose b/w Spanish Moss picture sleeve

CryOfWild833c.jpg

A&M 833 The Cry Of The Wild Goose b/w Spanish Moss juke box title strips

CryOfWild8517.jpg

A&M 8518 The Cry Of The Wild Goose b/w The Portuguese Washerwoman
- A&M Forget Me Nots re-issue 45

GeorgyGirl843.jpg

A&M 843 Georgy Girl b/w Heads Up!

Georgy8515.jpg

A&M 8515 Georgy Girl b/w Ghost Riders In The Sky A&M Forget Me Nots
re-issue 45

Recording Session Info:

1/5/67 - Sunset Sound - Mel's Song (Domingo), Baja Nova, Spanish Eyes, The Odd One, They Call The Wind Maria, Baja Humbug - Julius Wechter - marimba, Bud Coleman - guitar & mandolin, Frank DeCaro - guitar, Frank DeVito - drums, Bernie Fleischer - flute & piccolo, Lee Katzman - trumpet, Mell Pollan - bass, Curry Tjader - marimba, Dave Wells - trombone, Roy Caton - trumpet, Lew McCreary - trombone, Bill Pitman - guitar, Don Randi - piano.

2/22/67 - Georgy Girl, Born Free, Temptation - Julius Wechter - marimba, Bud Coleman - guitar & mandolin, Frank DeCaro - guitar, Frank DeVito - drums, Bernie Fleischer - flute & piccolo, Lee Katzman - trumpet, Mell Pollan - bass, Curry Tjader - marimba, Dave Wells - trombone, Roy Caton - trumpet, Lew McCreary - trombone, Bill Pitman - guitar, Don Randi - piano.

No further info.
 

DAN BOLTON

Well-Known Member
Had to go with DOMINGO, but it's a tough choice between this one and BAJA NOVA. BAJA NOVA sounds a lot bouncier and bright here than it does as WARM on Herb's album...the tempo doesn't seem to change as much. I also like the way BORN FREE goes from a soft ballad to a joyous anthem as it progresses. Another standout is THEY CALL THE WIND MARIAH...the piano leads me to believe that it might have been Don Randi who played on CAST YOUR FATE TO THE WIND; the style is very similar...I always assumed it was Leon Russell, but now I'm not so sure.

I always liked DOMINGO for the melody, but was also pleasantly surprised that it was written by Mel Pollan, who for me at least, was one of the more obscure members of the group. I knew that Dave Wells was a session man along with Lee Katzin; Frank DeVito played with Julius on a much earlier album, LINEAR SKETCHES and that Bud Coleman was a rather prolific songwriter; but Pollan is someone that I knew little about until I discovered that he wrote this gem of a tune.

This album has less of a "studio sound" for lack of a better term than earlier offerings did...maybe more group members were involved in the recording process by now.

And nobody has their back to the camera on the cover...



Dan
 
This was a wonderful album. As a kid I learned a lot about arranging listening to this work. The album cover was one of their best if not their best, probably because it had that 1960's "Spaghetti Western" look to it. later...J
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
This is a cover that I've never seen "full size." I only had this album on 8-track, and when that tape wore out I ceased to own it. It's on my CD wish list!
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
Well here's a bigger picture, anyway:

BMBHeadsUpFront.jpg


And the back:

BMBHeadsUpBack.jpg


Harry
 

audiofile

Member
DAN BOLTON said:
Had to go with DOMINGO, but it's a tough choice between this one and BAJA NOVA. BAJA NOVA sounds a lot bouncier and bright here than it does as WARM on Herb's album...the tempo doesn't seem to change as much. I also like the way BORN FREE goes from a soft ballad to a joyous anthem as it progresses. Another standout is THEY CALL THE WIND MARIAH...the piano leads me to believe that it might have been Don Randi who played on CAST YOUR FATE TO THE WIND; the style is very similar...I always assumed it was Leon Russell, but now I'm not so sure.

I always liked DOMINGO for the melody, but was also pleasantly surprised that it was written by Mel Pollan, who for me at least, was one of the more obscure members of the group. I knew that Dave Wells was a session man along with Lee Katzin; Frank DeVito played with Julius on a much earlier album, LINEAR SKETCHES and that Bud Coleman was a rather prolific songwriter; but Pollan is someone that I knew little about until I discovered that he wrote this gem of a tune.

This album has less of a "studio sound" for lack of a better term than earlier offerings did...maybe more group members were involved in the recording process by now.

And nobody has their back to the camera on the cover...



Dan

It's Lee Katzman, not Katzin. And maybe Mel Pollan wasn't as obscure as you might think. He was a west coast jazz bass player and can be found on various jazz records from the 50's and 60's. I remember seeing his name on a couple of albums.

If anyone is the obscure member I think that would be Frank DeCaro. He's the only one in the group, who I'm not sure if he was a jazz player. I've never seen his name on any records and have never heard about him other than in discussion of the BMB.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
audiofile said:
If anyone is the obscure member I think that would be Frank DeCaro. He's the only one in the group, who I'm not sure if he was a jazz player. I've never seen his name on any records and have never heard about him other than in discussion of the BMB.
Good point. I, too, have yet to run across the DeCaro name within any other musical context. I always get a kick out of the "rhythm guitar" credit -- like Frank was only "good enough" to play changes and little else. One listen to any of these BMB LPs (and, particularly the TV clips where they genuinely play live) indicates that these BMB cats were unarguably the finest musicians putting out records at A&M during the golden period (1965-1969).

Dan B. said:
...And nobody has their back to the camera on the cover...
Mike B. said:
This is a cover that I've never seen "full size." I only had this album on 8-track, and when that tape wore out I ceased to own it. It's on my CD wish list!
Jay'Juan said:
...The album cover was one of their best if not their best, probably because it had that 1960's "Spaghetti Western" look to it.
Easily one of A&M's finest covers from the '60s -- if not of all time -- this is a beautiful work of graphic art. The unique concept of a "formal" band juxtaposed with a few notable accouterments results in a memorable bit of linear time-play: The muted reddish/orange colour wash, Devito's Megaphone, and beat up floor fan would indicate something pre-WWII; yet, Mel's electric bass guitar and the presence of a hitherto unknown (and very tall!) Eb tuba player whose apparel (or lack thereof) suggests an absence of undergarments, is very much of the swinging '60s (and beyond!!). This Peter Whorf creation is a jawdropper.

I chose Born Free -- the arrangement was particularly inventive and well executed.
 

audiofile

Member
JO said:
[ I always get a kick out of the "rhythm guitar" credit -- like Frank was only "good enough" to play changes and little else.

I used to get a kick out of that also. But now, I just think Charlie and Frank had two distinctive roles. Rhythm guitar played an important part of the Tijuana Brass sound, as well as the BMB. Julius probably just wanted Charlie Chiarenza to handle the solos and single note lines, while Frank always supported the band with the rhythm guitar.

For Decaro's finest rhythm work in my opinion, check out Peru 68.
 

DAN BOLTON

Well-Known Member
DAN BOLTON said:
Had to go with DOMINGO, but it's a tough choice between this one and BAJA NOVA. BAJA NOVA sounds a lot bouncier and bright here than it does as WARM on Herb's album...the tempo doesn't seem to change as much. I also like the way BORN FREE goes from a soft ballad to a joyous anthem as it progresses. Another standout is THEY CALL THE WIND MARIAH...the piano leads me to believe that it might have been Don Randi who played on CAST YOUR FATE TO THE WIND; the style is very similar...I always assumed it was Leon Russell, but now I'm not so sure.

I always liked DOMINGO for the melody, but was also pleasantly surprised that it was written by Mel Pollan, who for me at least, was one of the more obscure members of the group. I knew that Dave Wells was a session man along with Lee Katzin; Frank DeVito played with Julius on a much earlier album, LINEAR SKETCHES and that Bud Coleman was a rather prolific songwriter; but Pollan is someone that I knew little about until I discovered that he wrote this gem of a tune.

This album has less of a "studio sound" for lack of a better term than earlier offerings did...maybe more group members were involved in the recording process by now.

And nobody has their back to the camera on the cover...



Dan


My apologies to Mr. KATZMAN for spelling his name wrong. I believe it's spelled K-A-T-Z-I-N on another album, or maybe I'm thinking of someone else...


Dan
 

Mike

Active Member
I thought that the album cover was too dark. I strained my eyes trying to find the guy taking a whiz.

Mike
 

DAN BOLTON

Well-Known Member
I've done some sleuthing regarding Mel Pollan's career, and I've found some interesting items. Mel was indeed involved in the jazz scene on the West Coast, and not only as a bassist. He played with several groups, including Robert Drasnin, The Jerry Fuller Sextet, Les Brown, Billy Usselton and Dave Pell; but he was also featured in at least one television show, the 1959 season JOHNNY STACCATO. He played only a bit part, much like Herb Alpert did in MR. HOBBS TAKES A VACATION, but he was in good company on the show...Shelly Manne and Johnny Williams (later to become better known as John Williams) also appeared on the show from time-to-time. John Cassavetes was the star, a jazz pianist who also moonlighted as a detective. No DVD has ever been released, but the show is held in high regard because of production values and the veritable encyclopedia of late '50's jazz musicians who made cameo appearances. SCTV did a parody of the show a few years ago. Mel's appearance was on the last show, #27 shown in March of 1960.

I never meant to downplay Mr. Pollan's career achievements...I only meant to say that he was one of the few group members that I knew little about. Every member of the BMB was an accomplished musician, every bit the equal of the members of the TJB.


Dan
 

audiofile

Member
I don't think anybody thought you were trying to downplay Mr. Pollan's career achievements. I just said we know less about Frank DeCaro than about Mel Pollan. No harm done.
 

bob knack

Well-Known Member
Winchester Cathedral had a reason for being. During their 'live' performance at that time, Curry Tjader would move to the drums and Frank Devito would move up front and do that vocal. They would hit him with a strobe light for an "old time movie effect" and this was a real crowd pleaser. At least it was when I saw it at The Civic Theatre in Chicago in 1967. This may be why they threw it on the album.

P.S. Ever notice that Herb's Coney Island and Baja'a Wall Street Rag have the same opening notes?
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
"Winchester Cathedral" was a number one song for The New Vaudeville Band on the Fontana label. Needless to say it was their only hit, but it was big in 1966.

Given the old-timeyness of the song it was a natural for the Baja boys to do it on stage, and even on record. Still, it doesn't do much for me personally as a recording on an album and as a result is one of those skip tracks when it comes on.

Yet I'm sure if I'd seen the BMB in concert, I'd have gone crazy too at the performance of this song.

Harry
 

Mr Bill

Gentlemanly Curmudgeon
Staff member
Moderator
This is my favorite of the BMB's albums, hands down. And "Georgy Girl" is Julius Wechter's finest arrangement of a cover tune. The layering of horns and switching from melody to harmony demonstrates Wechter's superior arrangemetn skills and the superb musicianship of his 8 bandmates.

As for "Winchester Cathedral" I have to say I enjoy that tune. And I prefer the BMB version over the NVB version. DeVito's vocals are perfect for the tune as was his follow up vocal on the non-LP track "Wall Street Rag" (which I also prefer to the TJB version).

I'll need to look over my copies of 4123 -- I could swear I have or saw a version where the credit under DeVito reads "drums & vocals" -- not just "drums" as the one posted here shows. It wouldn't be the first time that a BMB LP had a different back covers (or front cover for that matter as Fowl Play has two different covers)

--Mr. Bill
 
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