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Julius Wechter

Along with his Baja Marimba Band, Julius Wechter popularized, updated and Americanized the original marimba sound just as his friend and frequent collaborator Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass revitalized the Mexican mariachi band–as an associate of Martin Denny’s backing group, he was also a catalyst behind the exotica phenomenon. Created in LA on, may 10, 1935, as a teenager Wechter enjoyed some small assignments in Hollywood movies before implementing the vibraphone at exactly the same time as the Western world Coast jazz picture begun to flourish. In 1956 he documented a single LP, Linear Sketches, however the record proceeded to go nowhere and a calendar year afterwards, he was tapped to displace vibist Arthur Lyman in Denny’s combo. Along with his basic piano melodies, parrot whistles, jungle sound files and Latin-inspired rhythms, the Hawaiian-based Denny made a lushly romanticized aural family portrait of island lifestyle he known as “exotica,” and in 1959 the group have scored a global smash using the instrumental “Calm Community.” Wechter continued to be with Denny’s ensemble until 1962, when he came back to L.A. and proved helpful being a program musician on studio room schedules for the Seaside Boys and manufacturer Phil Spector. He initial worked with Supplement Alpert when he performed marimba over the latter’s breakthrough strike “The Depressed Bull,” afterwards composing Alpert’s oft-covered strike “The Spanish Flea” and adding percussion to all or any the Tijuana Brass recordings. After Alpert released his very own label, the venerable A&M, he inspired Wechter to create his very own group, as well as the Baja Marimba Music group was created. Described by its head as “just like the Tijuana Brass’ poor small brothers — we’d flop on-stage in big sombreros and previous clothing with big pasted-on moustaches, cigarette smoking cigars and taking in ale,” the group’s tongue-in-cheek, good-time music frequently belied the virtuoso abilities of its people, who also included Dave Wells, Lee Katzman, Bernie Fleischer, Bud Coleman and Curry Tjader, sibling of Latin jazz icon Cal Tjader. The Baja Marimba Music group quickly strike the charts using its 1st solitary, 1964’s “Comin’ in the trunk Door,” and in every documented close to twelve LPs for A&M, frequently touring as Alpert’s support work and learning to be a staple from the NEVADA nightclub circuit. From the middle-’70s the group splintered and Wechter came back to Hollywood, this time around to pursue program work, later rating the 1980 Disney film Midnight Madness. In 1986, he and wife Cissy penned the musical revue Developing Discomfort, and in 1990, he briefly led a fresh Baja Marimba Music group lineup, issuing the recording New Deal. Following that, Wechter converted his attentions from carrying out toward mindset, earning his Master’s level from Antioch University and working like a counselor for the Burbank Family members Service Company; he also offered as vice chief executive from the Southern California section from the Tourette’s Symptoms Association, fighting a disorder with which he was himself afflicted. Wechter passed away of lung tumor on Feb 1, 1999.

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