Julius Wechter played vibes in a combo that won first place at the initial Festival of Inter-collegiate Jazz in April of 1954 sponsored by Howard Rumsey at the Lighthouse Café in Hermosa Beach. Saxophonist Cy Colley was part of that combo and joined Wechter as they formed a quartet to play clubs in Los Angeles after graduating from Los Angeles City College.
Herb Kimmel heard the quartet and recorded them for his Jazz:West label in 1956. The resulting album, Linear Sketches, JWLP-9, was awarded three and a half stars in Nat Hentoff’s review of the albumin Down Beat. Herb Kimmel departed the jazz scene after recording his last album, The Return of Art Pepper, JWLP-10, in August of 1956.
Don Clark was hired as director of A&R to continue the jazz line as Intro Records for the parent company handling distribution for Jazz:West, Aladdin Records. Clark produced several albums for the new label including a second album by Julius Wechter that reached the test pressing stage before Aladdin terminated the jazz line. The aborted album showcases the recording debut of guitarist, Dennis Budimir, who continued to forge an impressive jazz career with Harry James, Chico Hamilton, Bobby Troup, and Bud Shank to name a few.
Wechter replaced Arthur Lyman in Martin Denny’s exotica ensemble in 1958 where he played vibes, marimba, percussion, and continued to compose original music for Denny’s group. A chance studio gig playing marimbas on Herb Alpert’s first Tijuana Brass albumin 1962, The Lonely Bull, led to joining the Tijuana Brass and later creating a spin-off, the Baja Marimba Band.
—James A. Harrod
Total time: 56:41 min.
01. Trousseau (Julius Wechter) 3:54
02. Autumn Leaves (Mercer-Prevert-Kosma) 3:23
03. Love Letters (Heyman-Young) 3:53
04. My Melancholy Baby (Norton-Burnett) 3:45
05. Cy’s Blues (Cy Colley) 4:02
06. I Remember You (Mercer-Schertzinger) 4:10
07. I’ll Close My Eyes (Kay-Reid) 3:41
08. Sissy (Julius Wechter) 4:06
09. Undecided (Robin-Shavers) 4:52
10. Dave’s Tune (Julius Wechter) 4:37
11. Scotch Hop (Julius Wechter) 2:52
12. Peanuts (Julius Wechter) 2:03
13. Melancholy Serenade (Jackie Gleason) 3:21
14. Lover Man (Davis-Ramirez-Sherman) 3:44
15. Blues Riff (Julius Wechter) 3:26
Tracks #1-8, from the album “Linear Sketches,” (Jazz:West LP-9)
Tracks #9-15, from a previously unissued album by Intro Records
The JULIUS WECHTER Quartet
Julius Wechter, vibes; Cy Colley, Jr., alto sax; Jim Bates, bass; Frank DeVito, drums.
Recorded in Los Angeles, Master Recorders, May 5, 1956
The JULIUS WECHTER Quintet
Julius Wechter, vibes; John Bambridge, Jr., clarinet; Dennis Budimir, guitar; Jim Bates, bass; Jerry Williams, drums.
Recorded in Los Angeles, Audio Arts Recording Studio, March 27, 1957
Original liner notes: Herbert Kimmel
New liner notes: James A. Harrod
Cover photo: © Ray Avery / CTSIMAGES
Don Clark photo: © Fresh Sound Archives
Recordings produced by Herbert Kimmel (#1-8) and Don Clark (#9-15)
This CD compilation produced by Jordi Pujol
© 2023 by Fresh Sound Records
Hi Fi · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas, S.L.
Important note: Tracks 9-15 are previously unreleased and they have been taken from a unique disc (test pressing) used to check the recording quality of a vinylmaster. The original sound is very good, unfortunately on this only copy we hear a superficial noise that is sometimes quite present. We have chosen not to seek to attenuate it down at all costs, preferring to keep the sound as natural as possible. In spite of everything, we regret not having been able to include the three tracks that are missing from this album which, due to their state of deterioration, have not been able to be restored.