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🥂 50th WARM - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass (SP-4190)

What is your favorite track on WARM?

  • The Sea Is My Soil

    Votes: 15 46.9%
  • Without Her

    Votes: 2 6.3%
  • Marjorine

    Votes: 3 9.4%
  • Girk Talk

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da

    Votes: 1 3.1%
  • Zazueira

    Votes: 4 12.5%
  • The Continental

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pretty World

    Votes: 2 6.3%
  • Warm

    Votes: 3 9.4%
  • To Wait For Love

    Votes: 1 3.1%
  • Sandbox

    Votes: 1 3.1%

  • Total voters
    32

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thanks, Rudy...good assessment!

Shorty played a lot of flugelhorn in the late '50s (check out his Wikipedia entry — he’s even pictured holding one). The flugelhorn requires its own special mouthpiece. I read that in the '50s/'60s it was commonplace for jazz players to use a trumpet mouthpiece instead; but doing so short-changes the velvety timbre of the horn among other things... Miles played flugel on much of Porgy And Bess, but listening to his tone strongly suggests he’s using a trumpet mouthpiece given the sound is neither full-bodied nor mellow and that he has intonation and upper-register slotting issues.

To take advantage of the conical bore and slow bell flare -- which produces that supple, mellow tone -- I have a gold brass bell (higher copper content — as you can see by the darker color) and my go-to mouthpiece has essentially no cup, which is similar to a French Horn mouth piece (another mellow-timbre brass instrument).

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(All this mellowness actually never worked well in 2- or 3-horn front lines because the other horns would always overpower me; but in a larger ensemble setting they are nice. In studio work I could build voicings by over-dubbing multiple flugel parts not unlike Hank Mancini’s french horns or Stan Kentron’s mellophones.)

Another key characteristic of the flugel is that is has no bite with its attack. Burt loved his trumpets. Listen to Come Touch The Sun. A trumpet takes the melody at the head; then at 0:46 there’s a brief trade-off to a flugelhorn for a few notes — you’ll note the attack of each flugel note is very much subdued. An even better example is the segue to the coda: the solo trumpet’s final notes are bright and gleaming — then at 1:21 the flugel takes over with its buttery, somber tone.



As for cornet vs. trumpet: unless one utilizes a copper bell (which you can see is yet darker colour than the "gold brass" flugel and much darker than the "yellow brass" of the balance of the cornet tubing) and a deep-cup mouthpiece, there’s not going to be much sonic difference between the two. Since I utilize those two aspects with my cornet, when I play it I feel and hear notable differences that are just not captured when recorded (e.g., the smaller horn cradles nicely in your palm; the center-of-gravity is more natural; the sound is closer to your ears and face so you vibrate more with the horn, etc.). With the exception of Ruby Braff, ’50s/'60s jazz cornet players probably played with shallow-cup mouthpieces to project more. To this day I cannot confidently distinguish between cornet and trumpet when recorded — even on my one playing! One thing about the cornet is that is hits nice in the low-to-midrange (from low F# to G below high C); but doesn’t slot well above above high C — this is why nearly all jazz players of the mid/late 1920s switched to trumpet en masse to better manage all that high note playing that Pops (Louis Armstrong) introduced into the jazz vernacular. The cornet is quite unruly above high C — just listen to some of those Nat Adderley recordings from the late '50s!

OK. I better stop there…probably 95% more than you wanted to know!
 

Rudy

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Even though I'm a woodwind player who's a bit (a bit?) rusty, I like reading about the various instruments. Your flugel with the gold brass bell is a variation I haven't seen before. (But I'm no brass instrument expert either.)

The one thing I remember about trumpet mouthpieces in high school is that the band directors wouldn't let the students buy Jet Tone mouthpieces for jazz band. 😁
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
We called those Jet tone mouthpieces "pea shooters": they have an extremely shallow cup so one can hit high notes quite easily -- the trade-off is the tone is thin and not full-bodied. A lot of the Mexican bands use them. Once you hear a Jet Tone you can tell right away what's up. No serious trumpeters use them. It requires many, many years to develop and nurture a beautiful trumpet tone over the full range of the instrument (and beyond for those who are so inclined).
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
WARM's disappointing performance on the charts is something I never heard about until years later. At the time, to me, WARM was a great new Tijuana Brass album, but it sounded a little more grown-up than some of the earlier albums. The soaring strings were certainly not a part of the seven guys on the earlier covers, so it seemed that Herb was altering the sound with bigger orchestrations - and there's the name, right on the cover, Shorty Rogers, whoever that is. At the time I'd never encountered that name, but I liked what I was hearing. The opening track "The Sea Is My Soil" was just gorgeous. Serene and calm one minute and furiously wonderful the next.

"Without Her" I'd heard as the single that arrived on the radio with the album. It too had these almost too-quiet moments alternating with loud orchestral bursts. It gave the home system a workout to try to listen to comfortably. Herb was a vocalist now, after his big hit, so we were going to be subjected to attempted repeat performances it seemed.

"Marjorine" starts with a clarinet - not an instrument that the core seven guys ever played. But when the track gets going, it had the old Tijuana Brass sound for the first verse, then here comes that big orchestra again in a Dixieland setting to the bouncy groove of the track. It's hard not to love this track.

"Girl Talk" - more trumpets here than on any other TjB record it seems as with Shorty Rogers treatment, there's a veritable brass curtain. It's gorgeous. Another winner on this "new" album.

"Ob-la-di, "Ob-la-da" - this one gets a lot of grief from Beatles fans who find it annoying, not rock enough, too silly in the lyrics. But Herb heard how well it would work for the TjB - and he was right. It's a bouncy, up-tempo song that is aided by some sparse backing vocals, hand claps, and Shorty's orchestration touches to close out side one of the album.

"Zazueira" had been a single and starts off side two. It seemed like many months ago that we'd first heard it, but it was great to hear in stereo after the somewhat closed-in mono 45. A very different track for the Tijuana Brass with its Brazilian roots and backing vocals, but boy does it have an appealing groove. I'll take Herb and Shorty's arrangement over any other artist I've heard do the song.

"The Continental" brings a steel drum sound to the TjB on this short, classic and lively song.

"Pretty World" - I found this one just amazing. We'd heard Sergio's take on this song and I always thought it would make a great TjB song. The Herb does what Herb does and turns the song on its ear, giving it a slow and soulful read. The chord progressions are surprising and delightful, and Shorty's high strings sound like they'd be at home on a current day Sergio Mendes record. It's almost like Herb and Sergio traded arrangements of the song.

"Warm" took me a long time to warm up to - pun intended. It wasn't an instant favorite, but I've come to love the track the more I've heard it over the years. I think it might have been that vocal with Karen Philipp that pushed me over the edge.

"To Wait For Love" - the oldest of the pre-album singles, this one immediately followed Herb's success with "This Guy's In Love With You". I liked this one a lot as a single. It had that Bacharach sound that was so prevalent then, and I still think Herb's vocal was better on the mono single.

"Sandbox" was the flip side of "Without Her" and is one of those tracks that can be a detriment to driving. I find that I tend to speed up a little when this one gets going! There was one pressing of the single that had the unfortunate misspelling of Herb's last name.

View attachment 6841
Sandbox is truly a great selection. As I said before, my three favorites are The Sea Is My Soil, Zazueira and Sandbox. Warm still ranks as my favorite TJB album,.
 

Rudy

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We called those Jet tone mouthpieces "pea shooters": they have an extremely shallow cup so one can hit high notes quite easily -- the trade-off is the tone is thin and not full-bodied. A lot of the Mexican bands use them. Once you hear a Jet Tone you can tell right away what's up. No serious trumpeters use them. It requires many, many years to develop and nurture a beautiful trumpet tone over the full range of the instrument (and beyond for those who are so inclined).
I think the nickname in high school was "screech mouthpiece." A couple of the trumpet section in jazz band wanted to use them for a couple of charts, but the band director wisely pointed them the other way. I remember our four high schools having a jazz band "battle of the bands," and we thought we'd get trounced by one of the schools where the lead trumpeter had just gotten a Jet Tone and was nailing the high notes. (Maynard Ferguson's arrangement of "Birdland.") But the other tunes were average, and we ended up winning it anyway. 😁
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
This has been discussed numerous times before: The Brass was a touring band; however for the LPs, Herb used whoever he wanted -- and nowhere in the '60s TjB history (since WNML) was it sonically obvious that different musicians were likely used on numerous selections.

Musically, the most notable aspect of the LP is the unswerving absence of the TjB band. Of course there is a “band” present – combo instrumentation – electric bass guitar, drum kit and guitar are consistently at hand on every selection, but their presence is second fiddle relative to the overall role of the orchestration. One thing for sure: relative to all previous TjB LPs (WNML through to Christmas Album) the TjB “combo” instrument arrangements appear in much altered form. Trombone appears absent; bass playing is technically very different – being far more imaginative and in some cases subtly driving the rhythm; guitar is mostly acoustic; piano is markedly present and up front, even driving a few numbers; and drumming, particularly the fills, seem very un-TjB like. All this questions the TjB-band members presence on Warm. Of course the principal trumpets are Herb’s.

Surely there were AFM union logs that chronicled the dates but these were not referenced for any of the reissues (suggesting, among other things, that the brass' participation was not 100% and the power-that-be didn't want to "de-romanticize" the presumed narrative).
 

Michael Hagerty

Well-Known Member
Contributor
As Mike Blakesley noted early in this thread, WARM is also the first album since WHIPPED CREAM AND OTHER DELIGHTS to not feature a picture of the band on either the front or back cover. And the posters offered inside only pictured Herb. Even at the time, I thought of it as more a solo album.
 

TjbBmb

Well-Known Member
Nick Ceroli seems mostly present, as does John Pisano and Julius. Toni was never used, and who knows how much Lou Pagani is there. I figure most of the up front piano playing is Pete Jolly. There are trombones all over the place, but very hidden and multiple horns playing “backgrounds.” Bob is probably part of a larger horn section.

I do agree with JO that the bass playing is noticeable more involved in some songs
which makes me think it is someone like Chuck Berghoffer, but I’ll bet Pat is on at least a few tracks.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
"To Wait For Love" is likely Burt Bacharach's musicians, as Herb wanted to recreate the magic from "This Guy's..."
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
I'm pretty sure I hear a trombone on "Zazueira", but that was a pre-album single, so may have already been in the can.

There are trombones all over the place, but very hidden and multiple horns playing “backgrounds.” Bob is probably part of a larger horn section.

Surely. I meant in a strict "TjB-combo" sense -- you know, actively sharing the front line and trading off melodic ideas, etc. 1:1 with Herb. That aspect is missing on the LP. I agree in that the bone I hear on the LP is part of the orchestration.
 
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Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
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Surely. I meant in a strict "TjB-combo" sense -- you know, actively sharing the front line and trading off melodic ideas, etc. 1:1 with Herb. That aspect is missing on the LP.
Certainly! That makes me think that the large ensemble pieces have few if any TJB members participating--they were more individual artists/soloists, vs. playing in ensembles or full-on orchestras. I know the dream is that every TJB musician played on every record, but from day one the TJB was a studio creation, using whichever musicians got the sound Herb wanted. It was more a concept than a band in the studio. The musicians were needed for the touring band, of course. But unless we had full AFM records of every track Herb recorded (and those are not always 100% accurate), there's no way to positively tell who played on these tracks. Especially on a project like Warm that was less a TJB project than a solo project. From a marketing standpoint it made sense to label it "Tijuana Brass" (this was not uncommon, especially in popular music--familiarity is what sold records) but even the TJB-ish tracks don't sound like previous albums.

I wager few, if any, members of the TJB touring group played on this record.
 

DAN BOLTON

Well-Known Member
There was a session list of musicians who played on Warm posted here. IIRC, The Continental was recorded in 1967, and has virtually all the TJB ensemble listed as playing. I don't know about the rest of you, but I definitely hear John Pisano's guitar on Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da. It would be an insult to suggest that Pisano didn't play on Sandbox, since he wrote it. I hear him on Warm, as well.
 

TjbBmb

Well-Known Member
People love to keep pointing out the fact that the TJB started as a recording project using strictly studio musicians. And it was. But most if not all the TJB were part of those group of musicians and although they didn’t play on every single track, there’s no denying there presence in certain spots. For instance despite the departure in style of the arrangements I hear Nick Ceroli on most if not all the album while other instruments sound more ambiguous.
 

Rudy

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But most if not all the TJB were part of those group of musicians and although they didn’t play on every single track, there’s no denying there presence in certain spots.
I think the issue is that we're hearing some of the TJB musicians outside of their familiar context, so they are not as recognizable.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Gotta remember too that Herb did the arrangements, so they were playing his notes, so to speak. Maybe he wrote more "involved" bass parts for Pat S. to play, who knows.

These guys were all experienced jazzers so they knew how to improvise. And, studio techniques were evolving at a breakneck pace in that era too. But I have no doubt that a lotta session players appear on this record, maybe more than any album since the early ones.

In the BBC interview Herb states that he always used "musicians of my choice" on the albums because some players were better at some things than others, but he mentions several of the guys and says they were on all the albums after Whipped Cream. Specifically he name-checks Nick Ceroli, John Pisano, Pat Senatore and of course Julius Wechter, but he doesn't mention Bob Edmondson, Tonni Kalash or Lou Pagani. Of course it's been a few decades since it all happened so it's possible that not everything popped to the front of his mind on command. And of course that doesn't mean he didn't use other musicians besides the band regulars. We know about some of them, but likely not all.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
I think the issue is that we're hearing some of the TJB musicians outside of their familiar context, so they are not as recognizable.
Precisely. Drums and Bass are a great case study here. From WNML to Christmas Album and on TBAC the bass is at its core heavy root-V -- with some bar / section marks or turnarounds; but on Warm, we get as different approach on many of the numbers. The drumming is even more noticeably different: Again from WNML to Christmas Album and on TBAC, based on technique it's clear there is one drummer (surely Nic) as he has certain technical aspects he routinely employs (e.g., double kicks, shuffle ride, and his focus on cymbals and the hi-hat carrying the beat -- as opposed to a fat snare and toms; that Nic was close-miked as Ninth makes that LP a treat if only to better analyze his technical arsenal). The songs on Warm that seem to exhibit the "accustomed" TjB drumming style would be Marjorine, Ob-La-Di, Continental, Warm, and Sandbox. As Harry said, you can toss out the Bacharach number. Soil and Pretty World and Without Her are so fully orchestrated that trap drums could have been manned by virtually any session drummer; trap drums aren't central to either of those numbers. Girl Talk was Shorty's so he may have used his own cat. That leaves Zazueria, which utilizes a heavy drumming technique in places (that surely runs counter to Nic's light and nimble approach). It's fun to try to figure it all out...I'm sure all these guys would be fascinated to know that their marvellous music continues to provoke all this discussion 52 years on. When I have listening sessions with my LP friends, we continuously tussle over this stuff (e.g., come on! McCartnely totally punched-in the lead guitar on that -- Harrison just didn't go there...).
 

TjbBmb

Well-Known Member
The Sea is my Soil is unmistakably Nick Ceroli’s signature samba beat. It has that driving pulse on the ride cymbal. Nick had such a unique sense of time, if you you listen closely you can tell it’s him.

Nick also had a certain set of cymbals he liked to use that show up again and again on various tracks throughout the years starting with What Now all the way through You Smile.

There’s also a certain crash cymbal he used that shows up again and again that is also present on this track, AS WELL AS To Wait for Love AND This Guy.

The best example of this cymbal is on Marjorine. The melody at the key change at the 1:35 mark, Nick switches to this cymbal. It’s a high pitch ping sound, opposite of the more darker ride cymbal.

This crash cymbal shows up again in Ob La Di. The track starts with two crash cymbals on the first beat of the first two bars. It’s also used heavily on To Wait For Love at 2:30.

Other examples are Treasure of San Miguel; the opening and on the bridge. The beginning of Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, and The 0:45 second mark of Strike Up the Band.
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
Certainly! That makes me think that the large ensemble pieces have few if any TJB members participating--they were more individual artists/soloists, vs. playing in ensembles or full-on orchestras. I know the dream is that every TJB musician played on every record, but from day one the TJB was a studio creation, using whichever musicians got the sound Herb wanted. It was more a concept than a band in the studio. The musicians were needed for the touring band, of course. But unless we had full AFM records of every track Herb recorded (and those are not always 100% accurate), there's no way to positively tell who played on these tracks. Especially on a project like Warm that was less a TJB project than a solo project. From a marketing standpoint it made sense to label it "Tijuana Brass" (this was not uncommon, especially in popular music--familiarity is what sold records) but even the TJB-ish tracks don't sound like previous albums.

I wager few, if any, members of the TJB touring group played on this record.
Remember at least we know that Bullish was Marketed as "Tijuana Brass" but it was Actually a solo album" but I agree Warm is a totally different departure from the usual TJB formula but still A wonderful experiment I think given his situation Herb was looking to change his sound a bit
 
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