Early in 2005, Shout! Factory launched an extensive reissue campaign of Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass' '60s catalog. In the first wave of reissues, Alpert's classic 1962 debut, The Lonely Bull, and his third album, 1964's South of the Border, were given upgrades and they were joined by a new compilation of rarities called Lost Treasures. Compiled in large part by Alpert himself, Lost Treasures features a generous selection of 22 tracks, recorded somewhere between 1962 and 1972. It's difficult to discern the exact dates since the otherwise excellent liner notes by Josh Kun (with an introduction by Alpert) do not mention when any of the individual songs were recorded or if they've appeared on other albums (Alpert alludes to the fact that some of the cuts here were album tracks on otherwise "unsuccessful" LPs from the early '70s), nor do they mention recording personnel. This is a bit infuriating for any fan or collector who wants to place the cuts in historical context, but as a listening experience, Lost Treasures is as pleasurable as any of the best Tijuana Brass albums. Part of this is that Alpert has cherry-picked the best of the leftover sessions -- and he admits that he did re-record some trumpet parts in order to complete the tracks, but these overdubs are not really noticeable -- and he's carefully selected and sequenced these tunes so they flow like a real album. But the main reason that Lost Treasures is so enjoyable is that the songs are strong and the performances are nicely laid-back and breezy. Apart from a limber, rather funky reading of James Taylor's "Fire and Rain" and a silky take on the electro-novelty "Popcorn," this is pretty much the signature Tijuana Brass sound served straight up with no frills but a lot of breezy good vibes. But this is a time when no surprises is actually a good thing, since the compilation delivers what Alpert fans want most of all -- more high-quality tunes from his commercial and creative peak.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine