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Cinco, Reader's Digest Mexican Brass Style
Even more classic than usual rear cover spiele. All odd Capitalisation and use of double dashes '--' is faithfully reproduced for the viewer...
we ever find ourselves in a Mexican country-town, fortunate
enough to be staying a block away from a dark eyed beauty with
an olive skin and raven hair, we might well stand a chance of
being roused at a prodigiously early hour by the playing of
the street musicians, financed by a local casanova, presenting
his compliments to a coy se/n/orita with a morning serenade.
These would be the 'mariachis' or 'wedding musicians' with
their fiddles, guitars, drums and passionately strident
voices. If the wooer were particularly affluent, or
desperate, we might even be regaled by a trumpet as well.
On the Gulf of Mexico we are likely to come across a different kind of minstrel accompanying himself on the guitar. He strolls around the oyster houses in Vera Cruzon a Sunday, splendidly fitted out in short jacket and nickel-studded trousers, offering for a mere six shillings (ten pesos), <thirty pee - ee was done!> to compose a new song for each client in turn, inventing the rhymes as he goes along.
The commercial and social hub of every Mexican town is the central square. Here in the restaurants the men drink strong coffee and play dominoes, itinerant vendors offer crusty rolls filled with chicken and chilli and through the colourful vibrant scene comes the sound of the marimbas, 'the woods that sing'. The marimba is a giant xylophone played by three people, usually knocking out the latest international hit or an old favourite such as Cielito Lindo or reminders of the Revolutionary War, Adelita or Valentina. The most famous marimbas are in the Chiapa region in Mexico's deep south.
These are but three examples of the infinite variety in popular Mexican music. Now for the brass. <finally!> In 1962, the name for the northern border-town of Tijuana--a Spanish adaptation of an Indian word meaning 'city by the sea'--entered the vocabulary of international popular music.
Herb Alpert, a young first trumpet with the San Francisco Orchestra and former bugle player with the US Army, along with his business-partner, Jerry Moss, and recording engineer, Larry Levine, were in search of a new brass sound that was Mexican, without being purely 'Latin'. It was to have jazz and 'leisure-listening' potential as well. So one Sunday they took the road from Los Angeles, down through San Diego and across the frontier to the Tijuana bull-ring for the 'corrida'.