a & m records, age, chris botti, FtTP, grammy awards, herb alpert, herb alpert and the tijuana brass, jazz, lani hall, matchbox twenty, old people, ottmar liebert, parents, south of the border, spanish flea, steve vai, the dating game, whipped cream, whipped cream and other delights, zorba the greek
I have a confession to make. I thought Herb Alpert was dead. Silly, I know, but when I heard Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass music as a kid, I thought of it as “old people” music, mostly because my parents listened to it and I considered them to be old. (Because don’t we all consider our parents to be old when we’re kids? Might have something to do with the height differential and the absolute authority they convey.)
Anyway, I’ve been listening to the Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass album “Whipped Cream & Other Delights” and I’m charmed and, yes, DELIGHTED by it. And very surprised that I recognized the bulk of the tunes upon first playing them.
Being curious about Mr. Alpert’s history and the notion I had that he was dead, I went online and googled him. Lo! Not only is Mr. Alpert not dead, he’s still performing and has a current website. And he doesn’t look particularly old. (Of course, now that I’m middle-aged, people around me can be in their eighties and I no longer consider them to be old. Funny how my age has shifted my perspective on this. If you’re in your nineties, though, then you’re old. I’ve gotta set a cut-off somewhere. Okay, fine. MID-nineties is old.)
My research into Mr. Alpert turned up a few interesting facts. “Whipped Cream & Other Delights” was released in 1965, two years before I was born. Three of the songs on the album were used as incidental music on The Dating Game. Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass were enormously popular in the 1960s through the 1970s, the band going through member changes at least three times between its formation and the 1980s. Alpert continued on with a solo career in the 1990s and has won several Grammy Awards. He was one of the c0-founders of A&M Records in 1962. (He’s the “A” part of the team.) Alpert is currently on tour with his wife, singer Lani Hall.
I was going to suggest a revival of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, but it appears that “Whipped Cream & Other Delights” was remixed in 2006 and reached “#5 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart”. But, hey! Alpert and the Brass are not just for jazz aficionados! There’s much broader appeal to this music.
What would be fun is to have other musicians play classics from Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. I could see Steve Vai or Ottmar Liebert performing “Zorba the Greek,” U2 taking on “Spanish Flea,” Matchbox Twenty doing “South of the Border,” Dave Matthews Band jammin’ “Taste of Honey,” and Nine Inch Nails having a go at “Whipped Cream.” But I wouldn’t want these bands to do a straight-on cover of Alpert and the Brass. I’d want them to put their own stylistic marks on the music. They could substitute another instrument for Alpert’s horn, or they could nab up-and-coming trumpet player Chris Botti or enlist Alpert himself.
Speaking of Chris Botti, how’s about him and Herb Alpert getting together for a dualing trumpet duet?
Long live “old people” music!
I’ll bet Mr. Alpert is glad I was wrong about his demise.