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A Taste of Tequila / Hats Off Import

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, August 7, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

First time on CD for these two albums from 1966 by the Chet Baker-fronted studio outfit The Mariachi Brass, essentially a hipper version of the Tijuana Brass! These recordings, arranged by the legendary Jack Nietzsche, feature some of L.A.'s finest session musicians including Tom Scott, Herb Ellis, Victor Feldman, Tommy Tedesco and more. 23 tracks total including 'Flowers on the Wall', 'These Boots Are Made for Walking', 'Tequila', 'Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)', 'La Bamba' and more. BGP. 2006.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Flowers On The Wall
  2. Tequila
  3. Mexico
  4. Love Me With All Your Heart (Cuando Calienta El Sol)
  5. Hot Toddy
  6. Twenty-Four Hours From Tulsa
  7. Speedy Gonzales
  8. Come A Little Bit Closer
  9. El Paso
  10. La Bamba
  11. Happiness Is
  12. Sure Gonna Miss Her
  13. Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
  14. Phoenix Love Theme (Senza Fine)
  15. These Boots Are Made For Walking
  16. On The Street Where You Live
  17. Armen’S Theme
  18. Spanish Harlem
  19. Chiquita Banana
  20. When The Day Is Done
  21. You Baby
  22. It’S Too Late
  23. Colonel Bogey March


Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 7, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: BGP / Beat Goes Public
  • ASIN: B000G6H3VM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,527 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Simply outstanding in every way. The sound on this collection is perfect. I have LP copies of all the Mariachi Brass albums in stereo and mono and they sound pretty horrible. This CD was obviously mastered from the original with great care. It sounds as if you are listening to them live in the studio. I know that a lot a Baker fans have shunned The Mariachi Brass albums but I love them. Many say that he only did it for drug money and they used him as a Tijuana Brass knockoff but I disagree. Chet puts his own style into these standards and they have such warmth and feeling it gives me goosebumps. Yes, they came out at the height of the T.J.B. but I would not call it a knockoff by any means. A little pricey yes, but well worth the money!
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I've wanted the Mariachi Brass' first LP on CD ever since I got my first CD player in 1986. It finally arrives on this very nice twofer that also contains the second LP plus one additional track.

Chet Baker fans have dismissed these albums for decades because of their pop appeal, the fact that the Mariachi Brass was one of many brass oriented groups thrown together by a record company to capitalize on the success of Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass in the mid-60s, and also because it has been widely speculated that Baker only agreed to record these LPs to get money to support his drug habit (and it was that habit that led to his untimely demise). But in my opinion, if you judge the music on it's own merits then the only question is: do you like mid-60s easy listening covers of pop hits or not? If not, pass this by -- even if you're a Chet Baker fan. If you don't like Tijuana Brass, Living Brass, Brass Ring and the like, you won't like this. If you do like this type of thing though, there's no real reason for you to dislike this. It's some very familiar hit tunes from the 60s, masterfully arranged, played by fantastic studio musicians (including members of the Wrecking Cru and some Tijuana Brass regulars) and perfectly balanced with Chet's wonderful flugal horn riding over the top of the other instruments. It sounds to me that he was having a good time recording these tracks -- I really can't believe he got nothing out of these sessions other than the money.

The standout tracks are "Flowers On The Wall", "Tequila" (which contains one of my all time favorite drum fills about 1:44 into the track), "Hot Toddy", "24 Hours From Tulsa", "Speedy Gonzalez", "La Bamba", "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'", and a rocking cover of the "Colonel Bogey March" from "The Bridge On The River Kwai".
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I originally purchased all the Chet Baker and the Mariachi Brass albums (4) back in 1966 and 1967. Being a trumpeter myself with an outstanding trumpet playing son (Doc Severinsen Big Band) I have collected many trumpet stars in my collection, the chief being the great Harry James. I love these Pop departures of Chet Baker playing very commercial tunes of the day and although purists of Chet's music disdain these albums but I feel they are missing the boat. Chet is his extraordinary self on his flugelhorn solos with ace studio sidemen providing great background. It is great that they have finally found their way to CDs. I have transferred them all from the original LPs but I am still going to order these CDs. If you like the Tijuana Brass and the Baja Marimba band instrumentals you'll love these even more as they give you the element of great Jazz soloing to boot.
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As a curiosity, I'd give this 5 stars! 2 of the 3 World Pacific mid-1960's albums that featured the great Chet Baker fronting a Tijuana Brass knock-off, playing the pop tunes of the day. I'll bet you were never aware of such a thing! And it sounds like fun! But the novelty wears off pretty quickly. Well played by all, Baker sounds pretty good in the middle of it all (no vocals), but so what? If you want to hear Baker, there are a hundred better choices. (And I owned the original albums, so I knew what I was getting into.) As a jazz album it's about 1 star, but I'll bump it up a star for musicianship, nostalgia, obscurity and curiosity. And I'll give the people who dug this up high marks for the package - good notes and information on the sessions, putting it all in perspective.
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I am a biased critic, I have a soft spot for this kind of music. I do not like vocals and here it is purely intrumental of high calibre. Loved Mexico by Bob Moore, love it here, love the rendition of "24 hours from Tulsa" and most of the rest. Chet Baker is there and no matter what, it is an added value. For those who like this music, it is a must.
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