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Herb Alpert: On The Record

Telly Davidson By

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HA: Yeah, that was earlier, that was back in like 1970, I was going through a divorce, I was emotionally spent, and all of a sudden, I just couldn't seem to play the horn like I used to be able to. I never really thought about how to play it until I ran into major snags, and then it took a while to work that out.

AAJ: Let's talk about today. How did I Feel You and Anything Goes come about? The sound is so different than the familiar riffs and gestures of the Tijuana Brass. And it does represent something of a "comeback" for you, to touring and performing live.

HA: Well, Lani and I said that if we could have some fun playing, and doing some concerts, than let's give it a go. And I was reluctant at first because the Tijuana Brass was so popular, and so associated with me, that I thought we'd go into a concert hall and people would be calling out "Tijuana Taxi" or "Spanish Flea!" But it never happened! So we got a group together, we started doing some concerts, and I got some tremendous feedback and great energy from playing again, live. Lani is a world- class singer, and we thought if we could have some fun doing it, we'd just continue on— so here we go!

AAJ: You and Lani Hall have had one of the most successful marriages—and fruitful collaborations—in both Hollywood and jazz.

HA: Well, she's my muse. I adore this woman, she's fantastic. We just celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary, and she's still the best thing that ever happened in my life.

AAJ: But for every Newman and Woodward, Steve and Eydie, or Louis and Keely, there seem to be 10 high-profile celebrity marriages that crash and burn. When you're both artists, you're both high-profile, how do you keep it fresh, so that you're collaborating with each other, instead of competing against each other—so that you stay each other's muse?

HA: I think just honesty. I want her to be the best Lani Hall—or Lani Hall- Alpert—that she can be. And she feels the same for me. We're just trying to do good things. We have charitable foundations, we're very conscious of giving back. We're just trying to do our part in this crazy world we're living in right now. And to remember to not take this thing called life too seriously.

AAJ: What are your plans for the future—what does tomorrow look like for you?

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AAJ: As to your charitable work, your foundations have given away millions of dollars to Cal-Arts, UCLA, public television, and Broadway. And you've been on the jazz and rock scene now for the last 50 years as a major influence. Do you feel personally like you've been a mentor to other young musicians and artists coming up?

HA: You know, I never really consciously thought about that. The only reason I wanted to put my name on the foundations, et cetera—it wasn't an ego trip, it was because I wanted to say that if I can do it, then you can do it! If you've got the means and the drive, then you should just try to help make this world a better place, you know? Just go for it!

You can check out Herb Alpert and Lani Hall on the web at http://www.herbalpert.com and at http://www.concordrecords.com




Selected Discography

Herb Alpert and Lani Hall, I Feel You (Concord Records, 2010)

Herb Alpert and Lani Hall, Anything Goes (Concord, 2009)
Herb Alpert, Rise (A&M, 1979)
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, Beat of the Brass (A&M, 1968)
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, !!Going Places!! (A&M, 1965)
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, What Now My Love (A&M, 1965)
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, Whipped Cream and Other Delights (A&M , 1965)
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, South of the Border (A&M, 1964)
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, The Lonely Bull (A&M, 1962)


Photo Credit

All Photos: Courtesy of Herb Alpert

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