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"For Carlos" and "Wind Song"

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
For Carlos remains one of the TJB's strongest originals as well as one of their most engrossing performances; yet, the song was re-named Wind Song for at least one cover version.

From S.R.O., the piece was most likely written in early/mid 1966. For Wes Montgomery / Down Here on the Ground (a.k.a Goin' On To Detroit -- but that's another story...), recorded, DEC67--JAN68, the same song was re-titled Wind Song.

Shout CD songwriter credits for For Carlos list Pisano-Ceroli-Alpert. Verve CD songwriter credits for Wind Song list Dave Alpert-Nick Ceruli-John Pisano-Paul Francis Webster. The "Dave Alpert" and "Nick Ceruli" stuff aside, I can report that Paul Webster was a lyricist -- indicating that Paul added a set of lyrics to the piece. I'm guessing that his lyrics had nothing to do with the original inspiration for the song, which I recall from a 1960s' Herb Alpert interview, was a musical tribute to the then-recent passing of bullfighter, Carlos Arruza:

Carlos Arruza (1920-1966) - Find A Grave Memorial

Ira Gitler's liner notes for Wes' LP, state: Wind Song, from the Tijuana Brass songbook, is a minor-keyed atmospheric piece with an infectuous rock beat. Wes' version does not include the complete composition omitting the key changes, time changes, unexpected shifts in dynamics and odd turnarounds. I'm unable to locate a set of lyrics, but conjecture tells me the music was probably dumbed down to accommodate a set of safe, top-40 lyrics ready for commercial consumption as it were (given all the fascinating musical elements -- you know, the stuff that makes music interesting -- would characterize the song as "no commercial potential" as Mr. Zappa would tell us.)

In any event, I found a 6FEB67 copyright entry stating "new arrangement":

Catalog of Copyright Entries
 
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Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Because it was a slow tune, I wasn't drawn to "For Carlos" in the early days of owning S.R.O., but the fact that it's a haunting tune, it finally grabbed me. Possibly part of that was the fact that it was a pretty easy song to play when I was teaching myself to play trumpet.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
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Wes's "Wind Song" I prefer over the sleepy "For Carlos." Probably because it's uptempo.
 

jazzdre

Well-Known Member
As we all know(or perhaps I'm assuming here that everybody knows) that "For Carlos" was written in memory of Carlos Arruza, who had just been killed in an automobile accident by the members of the Brass. It was Arruza who was the inspiration for Herb in the creation of the Tijuana Brass, and also ultimately in the creation of A&M Records. Herb said that he wasn't too crazy about the tune because it didn't come out "happy".(No surprise there; it was supposed to be a mournful tune.)

I don't know if it was Creed Taylor's or Wes' decision to do a remake of "Carlos", but their interpretation is a 100 degree spinaround! It's pretty funk flavored, driving, intense,(and to my ears) and with the strings attached, cinematic. The remake title "Windsong" is appropriate because it does feel like a strong wind blowing; sonically that is. Personally, I like Wes' version a little more than the TJB's original version. However, I feel BOTH versions honor the memory of Mr.Arruza, who was taken from us quite tragically, and at such a young age(46). Two years later, Wes was taken from us at a very young age as well(45).

Sorry if I come across as a bit morbid, but that is what happened with these two gentlemen.
 
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JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
As a bit of conjecture on my part, I'm wondering if Dave Alpert came up with the idea of taking the melody and re-working the song with lyrics...this would explain his name replacing Herb's in the credits. (Herb: Great idea, Dave. Come up with a set of lyrics, retitle the song and slap your name in place of mine and publish it...maybe we can get one of our artists to record it...if it becomes a hit, you can take the bread...)
 

jazzdre

Well-Known Member
Hi Harry! I was just looking at what I wrote, and yes you're right! What I should have said was : "For Carlos" was written in memory of Carlos Arruza by the members of the Tijuana Brass, because Mr. Arruza had just been killed in an automobile accident, and it was their way of honoring him and thanking him for being the inspiration for the Tijuana Brass in the first place. What's so funny about this is that I WAS an English major! Oh well...we all are entitled to slip ups every now and then!

I'm sure that James Baldwin and Ernest Hemingway had to go through hundreds of pages of paper before they were satisfied with just one paragraph that they had written. I'm also sorry that I inspired some jokes, that while a bit humorous, could be construed as "politically incorrect" in today's world. Remember folks, that despite my gaff, this gentleman(Mr. Arruza) was the inspiration for the creation of this band (The Tijuana Brass) and the sound that we love so much.

Thanks again for the correction, Harry!

Jazzdre
 
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Bobberman

Well-Known Member
Hi Harry! I was just looking at what I wrote, and yes you're right! What I should have said was : "For Carlos" was written in memory of Carlos Arruza by the members of the Tijuana Brass, because Mr. Arruza had just been killed in an automobile accident, and it was their way of honoring him and thanking him for being the inspiration for the Tijuana Brass in the first place. What's so funny about this is that I WAS an English major! Oh well...we all are entitled to slip ups every now and then!

I'm sure that James Baldwin and Ernest Hemingway had to go through hundreds of pages of paper before they were satisfied with just one paragraph that they had written. I'm also sorry that I inspired some jokes, that while a bit humorous, could be construed as "politically incorrect" in today's world. Remember folks, that despite my gaff, this gentleman(Mr. Arruza) was the inspiration for the creation of this band (The Tijuana Brass) and the sound that we love so much.

Thanks again for the correction, Harry!

Jazzdre
No worries Jazzdre I knew what you meant. We all make mistakes my friend
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
Just having some fun and remembering my own high school English teacher.
I had a few interesting teachers in school myself our language arts teacher used to write bad jokes of the day on the corner of the blackboard and many of them were pretty silly but at least they were clean
 

lj

Well-Known Member
Here is another song where we can compare and contrast versions by Wes and Herb-- this time with "Winds of Barcelona" written by the great Sol Lake. First up is Wes with as always a brilliant arrangement by Don Sebesky. Don's orchestration never gets in the way of the Wes' guitar, but adds an additional musical spice.

 

lj

Well-Known Member
And here is Herb's version of "Winds of Barcelona". Sol Lake had an uncanny talent for writing nifty pop songs with a Latin feel.

 

Moritat

Well-Known Member
I'll say that "For Carlos" is one if my top ten favorite TJB songs ever, and probably the most overlooked and underrated TJB song as well. But I thought "Wind Song" was also terrific. I was pleased when I first put on the new Montgomery album and heard that familiar melody to a tune with a different and unfamiliar name.
 
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