Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass


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Though Herb Alpert was technically taking a sabbatical from music in the early 1970s, he wasn't entirely inactive, recording in dribs and drabs. So A&M assembled this brief collection of singles and stray cuts in the summer of 1971; it went nowhere on the charts but added some pleasing entries to the Alpert discography. The two best cuts, taken from a 1970 single, are as good as anything from the Tijuana Brass' heyday, with Alpert's own haunting tone poem "Jerusalem" and a great, strutting arrangement of "Strike Up the Band." The title track, with a dual vocal by Alpert and his wife Lani Hall, is also intriguing, drawing inspiration from the famous Miles Davis/Gil Evans version, while Alpert pulls off a really good jazz trumpet solo on "The Nicest Things Happen." Otherwise, most of the tracks on this LP lack energy, and even vigorous arrangements like that of the Beach Boys' "Darlin'" drift off distractedly into the ozone. Clearly, Alpert wasn't quite ready to re-emerge full-blown into the performing world.

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