• Guest, order your copy of the Herb Alpert Is... box set. Click for CD version or Vinyl version. The documentary video can be rented or purchased here.

AOTW: Herb Alpert - JUST YOU AND ME (SP-4591)

What Is Your Favorite Song?

  • Promenade

    Votes: 5 25.0%
  • Musique

    Votes: 7 35.0%
  • Just You And Me

    Votes: 1 5.0%
  • Grandpa Lou

    Votes: 1 5.0%
  • Aria

    Votes: 1 5.0%
  • Yankee Doodle

    Votes: 1 5.0%
  • Spanish Nights

    Votes: 1 5.0%
  • One Night Lover

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The Lady Needs Romance

    Votes: 1 5.0%
  • The Day Will Come

    Votes: 2 10.0%

  • Total voters
    20

LPJim

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
Herb Alpert
JUST YOU AND ME

A&M SP-4591

sp4591.jpg

Released 1976

Format: Vinyl/8-Track/Cassette

"I dedicate this album to the man who gave me the love, opportunity and freedom to find my way ... "Grandpa Lou" ... My Dad, Louis Alpert (1894 - 1976).

SIDE ONE

Promenade 2:40/ Musique 3:37/ Just You and Me 2:22/ Grandpa Lou 4:45/ Aria 2:34.

SIDE TWO

Yankee Doodle 1:51/ Spanish Nights 2:15/ One Night Lover 3:03/ The Lady Needs Romance 3:19/ The Day Will Come 3:28.

All songs written by Herb Alpert and published by Almo Music Corp. (ASCAP) except "Yankee Doodle" (public domain). This arrangement by H. Alpert (Almo/ASCAP).

MUSICIANS:

Herb Alpert -trumpets and piano
Russ Kunkel - drums
Jim Hughart - bass
Geoffrey Hales - percussion
Emil Richards - vibes, marimba percussion and cymbalom
Ed Lustgarten - cello
Bob Edmondson - trombone
Ernie Watts, Bill Green, Terry Harrington - flute
Tom Tedesco - mandolin
Herb Alpert and Lani Hall - vocals

Produced and Arranged by Herb Alpert
Associate Producer - Lani Hall
Mastering Engineer - Bernie Grundman
Engineer - Steve Michell
First Aid - Bill Earl

Art Direction - Roland Young
Photography by Lani Alpert Hall
Album Design - Chuck Beeson
Letterforms - Johnny Lee
Strings and Voices on "Grandpa Lou" orchestrated by Jimmie Haskell

Recorded at A&M Studio "B," Hollywood, California.

Not available on CD.
Not charted in the Billboard Top 200.

JB
 

Stephen Vakil

Well-Known Member
I know I'm in the minority, but this is one of his best albums. The only tracks that don't do it for me are Grandpa Lou and Yankee Doodle. Hopefully "The Day Will Come" when this is released on CD. (Sorry, I couldn't resist it!)

Stephen
 

LPJim

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
"Yankee Doodle" no doubt was included because 1976 was the bicentennial year, with the TV ad 'bicentennial minute' history lessons and such. I'm sure there were many other music tributes. My favorite was "Dance With the Dragon" from Jefferson Starship's SPITFIRE album:

'Yankee Doodle get it up
Stick a feather in your hat
Yankee Doodle keep it up
Call it macaroni ...'

Ah, memories!

JB
 

Mr Bill

Gentlemanly Curmudgeon
Staff member
Moderator
This is one of my favorites as well. I was disappointed when it came out to see it did not include the single tracks that preceded it, as I expected it was just the next LP and that Herb merely eliminated the "& the TJB" moniker. But alas it was its own animal containing neither "El Bimbo" nor "Whistlestar" (or any of the new songs the TJB started doing like "Neverland," "Desert Dance" or "Somewhere"). Even more disappointing was the lack of TJB members with the exception of stalwarts Wechter and Edmondson.

What was truly enjoyable was hearing Herb's composition skills so well displayed -- we'd only had occaisional glimpses of it prior to this LP. I cionsider the two opening tracks ("Promenade" and "Musique") to be two of his finest compositions.

I don't dislike "Yankee Doodle" as much as others. For me the title track is the weakest.

I also enjoy the two semi-vocal numbers -- "Spanish Night" and "The Day Will Come." Both could do with more lyrics IMHO.

I think I'll give my home-made mp3s a spin now...

--Mr. Bill
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Mr Bill said:
Even more disappointing was the lack of TJB members with the exception of stalwarts Wechter and Edmondson.


Wechter? I don't see any Wechters in the credits.

sp4591.jpg


It seems like ages since we've had a Herb Alpert title in the Album Of The week!

This is one of the few Herb Alpert albums I never managed to buy. It was in the radio station throwaway pile - as a result my copy has the "PROMOTIONAL COPY NOT FOR SALE" sticker on the front of the jacket.

I'd gladly buy a CD of it if given the opportunity, but for now will settle for my homemade CDs and mp3s of the songs on this album.

Though I was initially disappointed that this wasn't a TJB album and found it rather dull, I later came around to finding this to be a true treasure in the Alpert canon.

"Yankee Doodle" doesn't bother me as a musical selection, but every time I see the title or hear the song, I think of our late friend Wendell, who had an annoying fondness for the New York Yankees, and whenever discussing baseball, he used a "NP: Yankee Doodle" in his sig.

Harry
 

Mr Bill

Gentlemanly Curmudgeon
Staff member
Moderator
Harry said:
Wechter? I don't see any Wechters in the credits.

Ooops! You're right! It was Emil Richards (of the Kellaway Quartet) handling the mallets on this one... That's what I get for working from memory as I approach 50 (well, 48 in a week and change).

But my point was the lack of TJB members on this effort that disappointed me more than any of the music.

Wendell... Say what we will and the differences we had back in the day I really do miss the guy.

--Mr Bill
 

Captain Bacardi

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Back in 1989 Herb was on the Bob Costas show called "Later", and they were talking about Carole King's Tapestry album. Herb said that Carole's demo tapes always seemed to sound better than albums that other artists covered her songs with, so producer Lou Adler decided to make Tapestry like a demo album. That's how I feel Just You And Me is like. Very low-key, sparse, a no-frills, very personal concept. The songs themselves are pretty strong, but the actual recording leaves something to be desired.

I really like "Promenade" and "Musique". I thought "Just You And Me" could've been an incredibly strong track, with its shifting time signatures and Herb's fiery trumpet solo. But that vocal he does is terrible! I just don't know how he could've kept that on the record, particularly when he jumps up an octave. Worst thing he's ever done. "Grandpa Lou" is kind of haunting. "Aria" is kind of neat with the cello there. Interesting juxtaposition between "Grandpa Lou" - the death of his father - and "Aria" - the birth of his daughter. "Yankee Doodle" didn't do much for me - I guess that was his tribute to the bicentennial that year. "Spanish Nights" has its moments, but seems to be lacking something. I liked the muted trumpet parts in both "One Night Lover" and "The Lady Needs Romance". "The Day Will Come" also had its moments, but was kind of shaky in places.

I would like to hear this album with a better recording - not a ReWhipped remix, mind you - just a better effort. Herb's piano playing isn't exactly inspiring, either. Oscar Peterson he ain't. I would imagine this album will be one of the last that gets reissued.



Capt. Bacardi
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
Captain Bacardi said:
I would like to hear this album with a better recording - not a ReWhipped remix, mind you - just a better effort. Herb's piano playing isn't exactly inspiring, either. Oscar Peterson he ain't. I would imagine this album will be one of the last that gets reissued.

Actually, a new mix from the multitracks would improve the sound on this one a bit. Sometimes it is a bit muffled sounding.

Musically, I was sort of warm/cool on it back when it came out. It didn't seem to have "happy" songs like the TJB's tracks were. I know as I've listened to it in later years (having a much better copy of it now), it's grown on me quite a bit. Seems like a very personal, up-close album, which is what the album title implies. The only song I skip over, even today, is "Yankee Doodle"--I must have been expecting something a lot more upbeat. All the rest I like quite a bit...although I do agree on the vocal on the title track. :wink:
 

jazzdre

Well-Known Member
I dunno..I'm kind of a mixed bag when it comes to this album. I took it out from the library many years ago, and then I finally bought it at one of those "used" record shops as a cassette, but had to return it, because the sound volume on the tape went up one minute and down the next! Defective tape, what can I say?

I liked "Promenade","Musique", but I LOVED "Aria", because of its melancholy/bittersweet mood. I don't know what Herb intended with this arrangement/composition, but to me, it's one of his saddest tunes ever;kind of a tearjerker.I have to agree with the Captain on "Just You And Me":Herb's vocals are HORRIBLE!! He just is not suited to fast paced, uptempo material vocally, and this song proves it."The Day Will Come" is also not great vocally, but it's still miles better than "Just You And Me"(and also because Lani is on the track!) This reminds me of what Darlene Love said in her autobiography when she talks about working with Herb;she said he was a great trumpeter, but no great shakes as a singer. She says they got along real great, though.

"One Night Lover" threw me for a loop, though, not the song ,but the title! For a guy who had an image as a musician who catered to family friendly audiences, this was probably a jolt to some of his fans, with such a risque title as that. Again, the music is melancholy, and a bit on the sad side as well. "The Lady Needs Romance" is probably the one of the few, shall we say non melancholy tunes on the album, and Herb's version of "Yankee Doodle" was very jazz oriented, but "Grandpa Lou" was from what I remember, very orchestrated, celebrating the life of his dad.

The album is probably very melancholy due to the fact that his father had just passed away, and he definitely wasn't feeling uptempo, as he usually did on previous albums. This album reflects his mood/emotions at the time, and it DEFINITELY comes across poignantly on this album.More introspective than his (at the time) usual stuff, and IMO, great for rainy days, or days of introspection/contemplation.
 

RichardWarner

Well-Known Member
Contributor
I was in college at the time, and my roommate was the college A&M rep. Our phone bills were hundreds of dollars a month (and we would always get warning letters halfway through the month that the bill was going to be huge) --- because he was on the phone promoting A&M albums to other college radio stations across the south. His dad was a very influential radio station consultant, so no doubt that helped Brad get the gig. But Brad was very good at what he did. Anyway..

The big deal about this album from a promotional point of view was that this was Herb's first solo effort. The hook was all around that. When I got a test pressing of it (white label, no identifying type, the album title was hand written and there was a photocopy of plain text, running down the songs, writers and ASCAP/BMI info), I was really excited to put it on and...with the exception of the first two tracks..was disappointed.

You're right. The album was a reflection of the artist's state of the mind at the moment, which is what "art" is. In this case, the album sunk like a stone because the record buying public wasn't in that frame of mind. It's an interesting entry in the life of an artist, not commercially successful, but personally revealing.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
I was initially disappointed in this one too, just because I was expecting more of "that" Herb Alpert sound that I'd gotten used to.

I do think that Herb's piano and vocals are what brings this down somewhat - plus carrying a whole album (well, the vast majority of it) as songwriter shows Herb's limitations in that department too. Add in the state of mind he was in at the time, and it's easy to see why this wasn't quite up to his usual par. Still, the opening two tracks are very strong and would have fit nicely on a TJB album.

Since it looks as if Herb is holding off on re-releasing music from this "dark period" in his life, I will be surprised if this ever makes it to CD, but I would still buy one.
 

DAN BOLTON

Well-Known Member
For me, GRANDPA LOU sounds a lot like JERUSALEM and BUD...very introspective and haunting, but not at all maudlin or anything like that.

I always liked YANKEE DOODLE...played it a lot during the days after 9/11. There's just something stirring about those chimes at the end, like being called to active service or something like that. The mood changes during the song...it starts out rather upbeat, and continues throughout most of the song in that manner, even intensifying through the key change; then it modulates back down a notch, and becomes almost sobering through the fade-out.

I have to agree that this album doesn't showcase Herb's vocal abilities very well...sometimes I wonder just what he was thinking as he was singing, especially on the title track.


Dan
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
One other thought: I know Lani is the love of Herb's life, and he is the love of hers, but they had the finest photographers at their disposal...why did they insist on doing their own album cover photography? This cover isn't terrible, but it's not really a grabber either. The covers of her albums, SUN DOWN LADY and HELLO IT'S ME (shot by Herb) probably didn't help those albums sell at all.

Of course this is just my opinion as a music store guy and a consumer...I don't really understand Herb's artwork either, so maybe these covers are works of genius. As the saying goes, your mileage may vary, eh?
 

Captain Bacardi

Well-Known Member
Moderator
I like the cover photo myself. I think it's kind of suggestive - Herb laying back on a bed saying "just you and me" as an invitation for getting, um, motivated... :wink:

I was in the Air Force when this came out, and one of my female co-workers loved the cover because she thought Herb had the sexiest eyes - the "puppy dog" look, as she called it.



Capt. Bacardi
 

AM Matt

Well-Known Member
I thought that Herb would do the 1973 remake of Chicago's "Just You And Me". :laugh: :o Matt Clark Sanford, MI
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
Mike Blakesley said:
One other thought: I know Lani is the love of Herb's life, and he is the love of hers, but they had the finest photographers at their disposal...why did they insist on doing their own album cover photography?

What I like about the photograph is the use of color, along with the accompanying dark magenta color on the sleeve and back cover.

The Captain does hint at what the album title may be about. Not a "come hither" look so much, but with it being a personal, intimate album (performed to "just you"), and the fact that it's his first solo album ("just me"), sort of struck a nerve.

What I like about the songwriting here is the use of the darker, minor chords, on keys that aren't commonly used. "Musique" and "Aria" are in E-flat minor, "Grandpa Lou" is B-flat minor, and "The Lady Needs Romance" is in F-sharp major. Notice, a lot of the black keys on the piano?

I'll have to spin this one tonight again....
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
I think it is a good picture of Herb but it's just not real attention-getting as an album cover. (Although I guess it's better than the SUMMERTIME photo with those disco pants!)

This is probably one of those albums that I would like more if I listened to it again. I haven't heard the whole thing in years. Not even sure where my copy is at the moment, in fact! One of these days...
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
I gave the album a spin yesterday in the car (CD-R), and the one thing that always hits me about the album is that it's a unified whole. I couldn't mistake any of the songs on it for being on any other album.

They all have that same "JUST YOU AND ME" sound to them. Whether it's the chord structure that Rudy mentioned, or the sound of the way the piano was miked, every song on the album has that "sound".

I also have never had a problem with Herb's vocal on the title track. I hear what everyone's referring to with the octave-skip to the high note, but it doesn't sound that bad to me. Perhaps it's just that I never expect great vocals from Herb, therefore he doesn't disappoint.

Harry
 

DAN BOLTON

Well-Known Member
AM Matt said:
I thought that Herb would do the 1973 remake of Chicago's "Just You And Me". :laugh: :o Matt Clark Sanford, MI

So did I...really. Y'know, with Lani on the vocals and Herb on the trumpet, it could've been a nice take.


Dan
 

audiofile

Member
Harry said:
I also have never had a problem with Herb's vocal on the title track. I hear what everyone's referring to with the octave-skip to the high note, but it doesn't sound that bad to me. Perhaps it's just that I never expect great vocals from Herb, therefore he doesn't disappoint.

Harry

I really like the octave jump.

I think this album is great. Herb's really a good writer. As far as his singing..... It's the same kind of thing as his trumpet playing. He's not really a great singer, but it's Herb and there's something special about it. I really like the tone of his voice too. I think you should listen to this album all the way through, non stop. You can't really pick out tunes. At least for me, it just seems like this album is one long track.

The only thing that I don't like is how it was recorded. I don't know, but every copy I ever had, sounded terrible. I wonder what was different about it.

I also really like that Herb wasn't doing this record from a commercial standpoint.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
audiofile said:
The only thing that I don't like is how it was recorded. I don't know, but every copy I ever had, sounded terrible. I wonder what was different about it.

I don't think it sounds too bad, but it does have a sort of closed-in, muffled sound to it in places. Especially the drums, which have sort of a dull thud to them. The piano tone is pretty good, as is the trumpet. I think the album would sound better if it had a new mix from the multitrack tapes, just to give it a little spit 'n' polish.

In a way, it has a "demo" feel to it. I think some of the songs were indeed demos, or taken from longer recordings. Listen to the opening of "Grandpa Lou"....that echo before the opening piano is definitely the tail end of something that was edited off of the beginning.
 

Mr Bill

Gentlemanly Curmudgeon
Staff member
Moderator
Webmaestro Rudy said:
...that echo before the opening piano is definitely the tail end of something that was edited off of the beginning.

It always struck me as an intended haunting ethereal echo, much like the few seconds of baby Aria playing with her toy rattle that open the tune named for her. Upon "relistening" I think you may be right. Heck, it's even possible Herb just had some ideas for piano beds and recorded a bunch back to back in one session and then worked melodies on top of them later. But then, if it wasn't intended, why not edit it off closer to the first note.

--Mr. Bill
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Giving this album a spin tonight I noticed something I hadn't before - on "Spanish Nights" Herb uses a technique that he used on trumpets years before, that of de-tuning one piano slightly while both are played at the same time. Listen to the opening - with headphones you can even hear that the piano in the left is a little lower in pitch than the one in the right, just enough to give it an old-time tack piano feel.

Harry
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
Is it the same piano part, or does it sound like it is two separately recorded piano takes? I know in this day and age, it is possible to digitally shift the pitch of a tone (which brings to mind Autotune :rolleyes: ) or add that effect you notice. But in 1976, I'd be inclined to say it's a doubled part. It's a lot of trouble to go to if a piano is detuned like that--probably takes an hour or two to tune it. It is also possible to detune one of the three strings for each note on the piano, but then you would not have that left/right effect.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Sounds like two different piano parts -like an overdub.

Harry
 
Top Bottom