Jazz trumpeter Herb Alpert, famously associated with the popular, horn-blasting Tijuana Brass group of the 1960s, released his first studio-recorded collaboration with wife and fellow performer Lani Hall on February 8.
Amorously titled I Feel You, the collaboration is the first of its kind for the couple (married almost 37 years) and was released just in time for Valentine’s Day. The two decided to release their first studio-recorded album together after the success of their 2009 live album Anything Goes that featured Alpert on trumpet and Hall’s vocals.
Alpert began learning the trumpet at eight years old and decided to pursue music after serving in the U.S. Army and performing at military ceremonies. In the late 1950s, Alpert teamed up with Rob Weerts and the two worked as songwriters, producing many top-twenty hits. However, it wasn’t until after a trip to Tijuana, Mexico and a mariachi band that Alpert became inspired to create a brass group with similar style and energy.
His first Tijuana Brass single “The Lonely Bull” reached number 6 on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart, even when the “group” was solely Alpert overdubbing his own trumpeting. Alpert next auditioned other musicians and, in 1965, the six-member group debuted. The Brass became one of the most successful acts of the time, with exciting, choreographed performances projecting a fun atmosphere behind the group’s upbeat, Latin-influenced music.
Alpert continued on to produce more successful hits with the Tijuana Brass as well as holding a successful solo career. His soon-to-be wife, however, was creating successful music in her own right, performing with Sergio Mendes & Brasil ‘66. The group was eventually singed to Alpert’s co-owned A&M Records and their music stood out due to Hall’s distinctive and powerful voice. Hall, like her husband, also went solo and won the Grammy for Best Latin Pop Performance in 1985.
With two music industry veterans, it is only expected that the couple’s multi-lingual release will be a captivating jazz masterpiece. The album begins with “Moondance” and a funky bass line supporting the precise, clear trumpeting of Alpert and vocals of Hall. “There Will Never Be Another You” clearly shows the Latin influences both performers are well known for while “Fever” is a slow, emotional ballad (and Peggy Lee cover).
The pair also covers the classic Beatles “Blackbird” and “Here Comes the Sun” in unique yet complementary interpretations of the original hits. The emotional title track and the following Frankie Valli cover “Call Me” are gooey romantic cries of affection, perfectly crafted for a jazz-lovers’ first date.
Alpert and Hall’s romantic chemistry transfers exceptionally onto the 15 tracks, with two of jazz music’s finest presenting a fun yet calming, easy listening album. The release’s many covers are presented in a new, fresh way and the original songs prove exactly what makes both all-star jazz musicians just that in the music world.
Photo Courtesy: Jazz Station
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