Claus Ogerman

Saxes Mexicanos

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Like many a mod album, Saxes Mexicanos capitalized on the success of Herb Alpert. The term "swinging mariachi" may be as dubious as the album's title, but there are some swinging tunes here. With Ogerman, you can always count on top players and interesting arrangements. Dick Hyman turns in fantastic (but uncredited) contributions on the Lowrey organ on several upbeat numbers. Highlights include "Dardanella" (which belongs in the mod hall of fame), Artie Shaw's "Nightmare," and Roger Miller's "King of the Road." While the first side is consistently strong, side two has a sizable hole in the middle. Saxes Mexicanos may not sound as compelling as Soul Searchin' or Watusi Trumpets, but it does boast top players and prime Ogerman arrangements.

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