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Younger Than Yesterday: With Strings

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Calexico’s Martin Wenk reveals the album that has inspired his life as a musician.

We are delighted to present a very special series in our regular “Younger Than Yesterday” section. Named after The Byrds’ classic 1967 LP of the same name, the feature aims to highlight the albums which have singularly had the biggest influence for music audiences and continue to inspire new generations of musicians. To coincide with Calexico’s extensive European tour this summer we have invited each band member to identify the album which has had the most significant impact and has provided the biggest inspiration for their lives as musicians. First up is Calexico’s multi-instrumentalist Martin Wenk (trumpet, accordion, vibraphones, guitar, vocals). Born in Berlin, Germany, Martin now resides in Tucson, Arizona.

Words: Martin Wenk, Illustration: Craig Carry


For me right now my favourite record to listen to is Clifford Brown “With Strings”.
One reason is the beautiful arrangements written by Neil Hefti. But most of all it’s because of his amazing trumpet tone.
Each note he plays has a special character and phrasing. Even when he really played on high-speed.
And as a trumpet player that is a real inspiration.


Artist: Clifford Brown
Title: With Strings
Label: EmArcy
Year: 1955

Tracks: Yesterdays; Laura; What’s New?; Blue Moon; Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man; Embraceable You; Willow Weep for Me; Memories of You; Smoke Gets in Your Eyes; Portrait Of Jenny; Where Or When; Stardust.

Personnel: Clifford Brown: trumpet; Richie Powell: piano; Barry Galbraith: guitar; George Morrow: bass; Max Roach: drums; uncredited string nonet arranged by Neal Hefti.


Tucson’s legendary Calexico are touring extensively in Europe this summer. To coincide with these shows the band have released the new E.P. “Maybe On Monday” featuring alternate versions of “Maybe On Monday” and covers of The Replacements, The Call and Elvis Costello. The E.P. is available at Calexico’s merch table on tour and officially released on 29 June with digital release available 21 June.

City Slang are currently streaming the “Maybe On Monday” E.P. here.

To check Calexico’s European tour dates please click here.

“Algiers” is out now on City Slang (EU) and Anti (USA).


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  1. […] for Fractured Air’s ‘Younger Than Yesterday’ series (where a musician chooses a personal favorite LP); Clifford […]

  2. […] “Double Nickels On The Dime”); Sergio Mendoza (Pablo Milanés, “La Vida no Vale Nada”); Martin Wenk (Clifford Brown’s “With Strings”); Jairo Zavala (Lole y Manuel “Nuevo […]

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