Herb Alpert

Just You and Me

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After all of those years fronting the Tijuana Brass or studio equivalents thereof, this was actually Herb Alpert's first album under his name alone, and as if to proclaim his independence, he wrote all of the tunes himself, played all the trumpet parts, sang, and even handled the piano too. For all of that enterprise, though, this is a spotty, intermittently pleasing collection in which the pop/jazz-oriented music often still has the distinctive melancholy tinge of the TJB (the death of Alpert's father in 1976 no doubt influenced the album's tone). The opening track, "Promenade," is a great tune, an upbeat, Latin-flavored update of the TJB style, but nothing else in the set is in that class, and Alpert even has to resort to an earnest rewrite of "Yankee Doodle" to fill space. Frankly, Alpert is no great shakes as a pianist -- his playing plods tonelessly along -- and there is a lot of it, which tends to put a damper on the record the further one pursues it. Ultimately, few record buyers noticed anyway.

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