Christmas South of the Border by The Acapulco Brass

Christmas South of the Border
The Acapulco Brass
Snowflakes Records ST127


  1. White Christmas (02:43)
  2. Jingle Bells (03:04)
  3. Winter Wonderland (02:05)
  4. Sleigh Ride (02:25)
  5. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/Angels From the Realms of Glory/While Shepherds Watched/Once in Royal David’s City (02:48)


  1. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (03:06)
  2. Silent Night/The First Noel/Away in a Manger/Silent Night Reprise (03:24)
  3. Hark the Herald Angels Sing/Ding Dong Merrily/O Come All Ye Faithful/We Wish You a Merry Christmas (02:43)
  4. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (02:19)
  5. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (02:24)


Arranged and Written by Jack Dorsey

The Acapulco Brass (a refreshing new Brass & Rhythm Orchestra) takes you sough of the border for a lighthearted, toe tapping look at Christmas. To a place where you probably won’t get a White Christmas (except, of course, in your dreams) but where you will get Latin American Brass and Rhythm. The whipped cream of Christmas music. You’ve heard the songs before but never in this contemporary beat that will joyfully prepare you for the holiday season.

Merry Christmas. Feliz Navidad.

Graphics by Ed Francis Graphics
Photography by Ed Francis Graphics
Production by Cathi Kaysing
Digitally recorded and mastered in super stereo at CBS Studios, London, England. A Snowflakes Records Production.



The liner notes here make some pretty bold claims that don’t quite stand up to scrutiny.

I’ll give them that the music is “lighthearted” and even “toe tapping”. But I have some beefs with the rest of it. When they say you’ve “never” heard these songs “in this contemporary beat” they ignore the history of Mexicali Christmas music. I find this interesting because they give a sly nod to Herb Alpert’s seminal album of the genre, Whipped Cream & Other Delights when they call this the “whipped cream of Christmas music.” They surely must know of Alpert’s classic 1968 release of holiday tunes, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass Christmas Album. And I find it hard to believe that anybody in the 1980s who was playing faux-Mexicali sound music was unaware of the spate of imitators that flooded Alpert’s wake with rafts of similar stuff, including Christmas music.

In my collection I have Mexicali Christmas albums from the Toreador Brass, Tijuana Voices, Luis Gomez Mexican Brass, The Music City Brass, The Monterey Brass, The Mexicali Brass, etc. And there were others who aped the sound without a Mexican-themed moniker.

And don’t get me started on their calling a genre that flared and burned out at least 15 years before this was recorded something “refreshing” and “new”. Sheesh…

Regardless of the hyperbole, this is actually some decent Mexicali Christmas music. It lacks some of the flash and energy of the original days of the Tijuana sound. But it’s light and frothy and fun. I do believe I hear some digital synthesis creeping in. The marimba sounds seem to my ears to be the infamous preset from the Yamaha DX-7 synth, which was all the rage when this was recorded in 1986.

So what you have here is what may be the last Tijuana sound Christmas album. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody else has re-revived this kitschy sound…

The King of Jingaling