Discussion in 'The Beat of The Brass: Herb Alpert/Tijuana Brass' started by Harry, Dec 20, 2016.
How Herb Alpert Made the Most Underrated Jewish Christmas Album of All Time »
While I respect and enjoy the Jewish culture, c'mon...this article is obsessing over it mercilessly. What a piece of poorly written trash.
Reading between the lines, what I think really bothers me is the ill-conceived premise that Herb specifically went out of his way to make a "Jewish" Christmas album. Did it ever occur to the writer that maybe, just maybe, just possibly maybe, Herb recorded the album because he liked the music, and used his preferred musicians and collaborators as he always had? Herb is very much a "feel" person when recording music--he'll use a first take if it feels right; he'll use certain musicians to get the feel he wants for his records and live gigs; he even signed artists to A&M because they had a certain something that he felt when he heard their demos.
I doubt he would ever sit and purposely choose everything because he had this unspoken desire to "Jewish all the things," in other words. Coincidental? Perhaps. But it certainly was not a calculated decision, and given how many perenially buy this album, it doesn't freakin' matter when all is said and done.
I suppose this writer is secretly pissed off because the cover of the album had Herb as Santa Claus, not a menorah. Totally ruining the "theory."
Neil Diamond for years held off recording a Christmas album. Going off of my memory here, he resisted it for obvious reasons, then realized that his fans really wanted to hear his take on traditional holiday songs, and he wanted to make something for them to enjoy. And at that point it doesn't matter: they are songs. Nothing more. If Diamond decides he likes recording songs people loves, more power to him. And anyone else who does the same. They don't need some dimwitted article dissecting these artists' decisions on a slow news day...
I didn't see the article as being about Herb "making a Jewish Christmas album," I saw it as a commentary on how unusual it seems to have so many Jewish people involved with Christmas music. Herb may have made a Christmas album because he loves Christmas albums, but I'm sure he also made it because he thought it would sell. This has nothing to do with him or any of the songwriters being Jewish, it's just good business (and musical choices that fit the Brass' sound). (And yes I'm aware of all the Jew-slash-business stereotypes out there...but what I'm saying is the religion probably had nothing to do with those particular business decisions, since just about everybody was making Christmas albums around that time.)
In the scope of the TJB's catalog (to that point)...the "Christmas" album plays, in my opinion, better start-to-finish than (large) chunks of the previous *three* albums do.
...the last TJB album recorded at Gold Star as well.
I Couldn't Agree More On All Counts To paraphrase A Famous Dj from way back " Good Music Is Good Music. And may i add. Regardless of who or where it comes from or Why. Lets Always Enjoy it No Matter What.
The one and only thing I don't like about the Christmas Album is that I think there are too many similar-sounding choral intros. If they 'd left out, maybe two of them (my least favorites being the ones on "Jingle Bells" and "Sleigh Ride") and replaced them with another song I'd have been happier. But, it is what it is and at this point, I can't imagine the album any other way. I even love "Las Mananitas."