As with recent projects like 2014's In the Mood, 2015's Come Fly with Me, and 2017's Music Volume 1, 2018's Music Volume 3: Herb Alpert Reimagines the Tijuana Brass finds trumpet legend Herb Alpert updating his trademark instrumental pop sound with programmed electronics, keyboards, and added instrumentation. Joining him is Music Volume 1 producer/sound designer Jochem van der Saag, who helps Alpert rework a handful of his best-loved Tijuana Brass hits for a modern, club-oriented audience. However, rather than offering Ibiza-style anthems, they instead deliver pleasantly snappy electronic arrangements that fit into the easy listening tradition Alpert helped define throughout the '60s and '70s when most of these songs were originally on the charts. Fittingly, the album kicks off with a bass- and synth-heavy take on Alpert's first big hit, 1966's "The Lonely Bull." We also get a jaunty mash-up of 1965's "Spanish Flea" and 1979's "Rise." Elsewhere, they deliver a reggae-meets-Bond theme-sounding version of 1965's "A Taste of Honey," and apply a woozy dub beat to 1966's "Work Song." Slightly more traditional is Alpert's lush rendition of "Spanish Harlem," which trades some of the original track's mandolin ambiance for cinematic strings. Admittedly, these electronic reimaginings never quite match the kitschy, analog charm of the original Tijuana Brass recordings. Besides the interesting "Spanish Flea/Rise" mash-up, there's not really anything so different or unexpected here as to completely justify Alpert's revamping of the material. Nonetheless, it's nice to hear the trumpeter revisit his legacy with such a warm sense of fun.
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar