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How self-serving can one musical genius be to have a label he co-founded release a collection of his best-loved songs?
But this is not just any self-serving genius. This is the guy who brought the world Dolores Ericson covered in shaving foam. This is the self-serving genius who scored the best James Bond film that wasn’t really a James Bond film ever. This is the self-serving genius who set the music to elevators and waiting rooms around the world.
From the opening charge of "The Lonely Bull" (complete with homesickness-inducing crowd noise) to the closing washes of "Making Love in the Rain," this album chronicles one of the most prolific and constantly contemporary careers in the music industry. Taking his Tijuana Brass in their jalopied "Tijuana Taxi," Alpert blows from the "Heat Wave"-inspiring "Mexican Shuffle" to the bazoukid blitz of "Zorba the Greek." Perhaps his most famous film-related song, however, is the Burt Bacharach classic "Casino Royale," a tune which could inspire even Woody Allen to take on the world’s most dastardly criminals. Bacharach also gave Alpert one of his most famous ballads, and one of his Alpert's peachiest vocal offerings, with "This Guy’s In Love With You." Alpert also has a groovy thing goping with Nat Adderly’s "Work Song."
On this collection, Alpert swings from the authentic Latin punch of "Fandango" to the smooth American drive of "Route 101" and from the funky crescendo of "Rise" to the hip pop hops of "Diamonds" and "Keep Your Eye On Me." Along the way, he offers delicious delights like the minor-keyed rag "Whipped Cream," the sweet blooms of "Lollipops and Roses" and a bee-utiful spin through "A Taste of Honey."
How sweet it is to have all his hits together at last!
Thank you, Herb!
Track Listing: 1. Lonely Bull - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
2. Mexican Shuffle - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
3. Whipped Cream - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
4. Lollipops and Roses - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
5. Taste of Honey - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
6. Spanish Flea - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
7. Tijuana Taxi - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
8. Zorba the Greek - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
9. What Now, My Love? - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
10. So What's New? - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
11. Work Song - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
12. This Guy's in Love With You - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
13. Casino Royale - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
14. Route 101 - Herb Alpert
15. Fandango - Herb Alpert
16. Rise - Herb Alpert
17. Rotation - Herb Alpert
18. Diamonds - Herb Alpert
19. Keep Your Eye on Me - Herb Alpert
20. Making Love in the Rain - Herb Alpert
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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