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COME FLY WITH ME - Reviews & Comments

What Are Your Favorite Tracks? (multiple choices available)


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mikeargo

Well-Known Member
Herb and Lani and band were just superb this evening at One World Theater here in Austin. From the new album they performed "Come Fly With Me" and "Something." (Out of about three dozen songs in almost two hours.) An incredibly smokin'-hot show. Herb and Lani sound wonderful in live performance. And the band is as tight as it gets. Bill Cantos is something else!

=Mike A.
 

TonyCurrie

Active Member
Industry Member
My copy arrived on Saturday. In contrast to the complex arrangements whereby the UK pressings were sub-leased to another label and therefore arrived very much later, the Herb Alpert Presents label is distributed here simultaneously which is terrific. A very fine disc, which I've listened to a) at home b) on a bus and c) in the car. A nice rounded album and some great arrangements (mind you, I'm a softie for any Eddie del Barrio string work...) and I for one really appreciate the CD text on each track. Best album for 30 years? That would denigrate some very fine albums, but it's certainly an outstanding piece of work. Another Grammy, perhaps.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
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Best album for 30 years? That would denigrate some very fine albums ....

Agreed. I can't rank any albums as "best" when they all have some fine music on them, and it can change depending on mood. Even an album like North on South Street can be my favorite or personal best when I'm in that sort of mood to listen to it. :agree:
 

martin

Well-Known Member
I am on tour in Germany this week and I picked up the CD in Hamburg's big SATURN store today. I've only listened to it once on the tour bus, but I sure liked it a lot. I love the take on "Got a lot of livin'..." and I also find several of the new original songs very good.

- greetings from the north -
Martin
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Now that I'm home again I can type a little more.

I like the new album a lot. Is it Herb's best ever? Well, no, that would be Warm or Going Places (in my book). But it's a mighty fine piece of work.

On this album I find myself liking the fast songs the best, because they have the best hooks. Herb has famously talked about "The Lonely Bull" and how it didn't work until he found the hook of putting the fanfare and the "ole" sounds at the front of the recording. To me the fast songs here have the best potential for grabbing my attention and sticking in my brain. Of course this is probably mostly because I'm a pop fan and not really a jazz fan. I think I would have to give "Night Ride" the honors for my favorite song here, just because it has that quality that makes it fungus into your head and stay there. I keep hearing that little four-note countdown into the repeats of the chorus. Good stuff. The sax at the end is nice touch, too.

A couple of songs would have fit right into certain TJB albums. I found a couple of spots where the music was just ripe for some TJB-ish trumpet harmonizing. That doesn't happen, unfortunately; most of the harmonizing here is done with other instruments, but often to great effect. There are a couple of spots where it would have been nice to have some other instrumental solos rather than the trumpet carrying the whole track. But, those are just nitpicks. Overall, it's a fine album, and I would have to agree it's the best thing Herb has done in quite a few years. Herb sounds great on this and the production values are great, too. It has the classic Herb tone, but you can tell it's from 2015.

The tri-fold CD package is excellent too - kudos to art director Brian Porizek for that.
 

Captain Bacardi

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Moderator
Thread Starter
This is really a fun album to listen to. If you haven't listened to this through headphones you should try it. Lots of neat things going on in the background on some songs. As for the tunes themselves:

Come Fly With Me - the Sinatra classic done rather differently. In last week's show Herb mentioned that the lyrics never say where you're going, you're just flying somewhere. It could be Afghanistan for all we know. But here Herb adds some percussion and steel drums and you're transported somewhere in the Caribbean, where the air is warm, the water is blue and you're enjoying a beverage from the hull of a pineapple. Love the witty scat vocal mimicking the trumpet solo. The rhythm section really grooves as well. Reminds me a bit of that other band he used to be in. :D Perfect opener for the album!

Blue Skies - Another Irving Berlin classic done countless times. Herb does a bit more funky version here and kind of reminds me of his version of "My Funny Valentine" from the Second Wind album.

Got A Lot Of Livin' To Do - There's something about the opening piano riff that reminds me of some 80's pop tune, but I can't recall what it is. A bit out there on the chord changes for the song but Herb makes it work. Nice little solo in the middle as well.

Cheeky - For me the best song on the album. If you're not tapping your feet to this you may want to contact your local coroner because you probably aren't alive. A groovin' reggae beat, nice melody and hot solo. Love the flute and steel drum on this as well. As perfect a song as there is. This should be the next single - a video would be pretty hip as well. Dynamite!

Take The "A" Train - The one song I was really looking forward to but ended up my least favorite track. Done in a quick waltz, which is clever enough, but it just doesn't go anywhere for my taste. I feel like I'm on Prozac riding a carousel in the Twilight Zone. It's not terrible, just not my thing.

Love Affair - A quirky, airy tune with some interesting orchestrations by Eddie del Barrio and a fine solo by Herb.

Windy City - I'm guessing a tribute to Lani's hometown of Chicago. Love the melody on this one. A bit of a bossa feel to it. Nice organ solo by Jeff Lorber and horn by Herb.

Sweet And Lovely - This is a moldy oldie dating back to 1931. Bing Crosby had a hit with this twice - once in 1931 then again in 1944 when he did the movie "Two Girls & a Sailor". I usually hear this done as a ballad but Herb kicks it up a bit with a light samba. A bit of a quirky tune but fun to listen to.

Walkin' Tall - Another reggae piece, nice melody and laid back solo.

Night Ride - Definitely a rhythmic tune. Not much on melody but the horn riffs give it somewhat of a TJB sound. Nice vehicle for Herb to play over. Love the bari sax sound on spots.

Something - Very melodic approach on this one, played very sweetly.

On The Sunny Side Of The Street - A quick-tempo version of this classic tune and the closest to pure jazz. I have a feeling this was a rather impromptu recording. The rhythm section really swings and Herb is in fine form. Another favorite of mine.

Danny Boy - I've been saying for years that Herb has become a master at ballads and this is another example. Nothing too tricky. He gets to the point. Nice orchestration by del Barrio as well.

The brevity of the songs make for an easy listen, kind of like In The Mood was. This album has debuted at #7 on the Jazz charts. I hope it will make it to the pop charts as well. I think it's that good.



Capt. Bacardi
 

toeknee4bz

Well-Known Member
I really liked it. I think it's a better album than In the Mood.

Would write more but I hate phone typing!
Me too. I have fat thumbs, which don't work too well typing on the phone.
And I agree. Seems that Herb keeps getting better with each release these days (and no, I'm not just being cliche' here).
 

toeknee4bz

Well-Known Member
I think dreamy is a very good word to describe the recording. I have the same reaction to it having listened to it in several passes so far. Lush is another word that comes to mind - not surprising as that is a trait I attribute to all of his solo music. I inagine this "record" will sound good performed live. If any of his folks read this blog, my best wishes for their visit down the rowd from me to Austin next week!
As for "Take The 'A' Train", I'll use the word originally picked to describe Herb's trumpet on the back of the LONELY BULL lp:
"haunting".
 

happycamper

Well-Known Member
Herb and his talented friends have hit another grand slam with this album! My favorites are Cheeky, Walkin' Tall, and Night Ride. I agree with Capt. Bacardi, that you really need to listen with a good pair of headphones to catch all the layers of rich sound on this cd. The steel drums are a great addition.
 

Steven J. Gross

Well-Known Member
Believe it or not, this was my first digital only purchase of any complete album and it proved very good. Herb's trumpet sounds more like the TJB style than anything recent. Recommended.
Ironic that Captain Bacardi and I had that heated discussion about "Something" and it pops up here. I wonder if that had anything to do with it's inclusion? Nah :)
 

Captain Bacardi

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Thread Starter
DownBeat magazine just released its new issue (December 2015) and did a review of Come Fly With Me. Unfortunately, one of their curmudgeons wrote a lackluster review:

**1/2 (out of 5)

Herb Alpert continues to deliver the sunny sound he inaugurated in 1962, when his work with the Tijuana Brass propelled him to fame and fortune. Here, he leavens reimaginings of chestnuts spanning "Take The 'A' Train" and "Danny Boy" with semi-catchy originals. It's a winning formula from which Alpert rarely strays. But it's a formula; he is not known for taking chances.

His tone remains bright, his phrasing lean. Those can be admirable qualities, but if they're virtually the only ones, as they are here, they make for an album that lacks dimension and variety. Passion takes a back seat to precision - this album is produced to within an inch of its life - and only a few cuts suggest a greater range.

"Night Ride," which Alpert says was inspired by Tito Puente, approaches excitability through Alpert's multi-tracked trumpet, Scott Mayo's pushy sax and co-writer Michael Shapiro's drums and percussion. "Love Affair" huffs and puffs and eventually dramatizes, setting Alpert's piercing trumpet against plush strings in a widescreen arrangement by Eduardo del Barrio, a keyboardist and one of the recording's six engineers.

Otherwise, this is jazz as trinket souvenir, with a frequent island touch. It also feels like the last breath of summer, with its reggae overlay (which works for Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies" and the catchy original "Cheeky") and its overall jauntiness. It is always pretty, even on duds like the lackluster takes on Duke Ellington's "A' Train" and George Harrison's "Something."

This is expertly played; the musicians include the cream of smooth jazz, and there's not a note out of place. Come Fly With Me is ideal for cruise ships, its music going down like happy hour bubbly. - Carlo Wolff

 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
Browsing through Tidal (the lossless streaming service), this album is available for listening.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
You'd better enjoy that iPod while it lasts. Especially if it's an iPod Classic.
I have a Zune 120 and it uses the same Toshiba 1.8" hard drive. I still think it was a terrible idea to put a fragile spinning hard drive inside of a portable device but back then, that was the only way to get the high capacity. The replacement drives are still easy to find, and cheap, but they really need to do a better retrofit with a SSD. (There is an adapter that will convert the 40-pin ZIF PATA socket to a Micro SATA connector and use a M-SATA SSD, but it's questionable if that would all fit into a portable music player.) Battery life would go way up, access times would be cut in half, and they'd be way more reliable. I may go that route if mine ever bites the dust, provided it fits.
 

toeknee4bz

Well-Known Member
The problem with Zune and other portables is availability and price. Plus the fact that it's an expensive gamble, and I've had the misfortune of owning several players over the years which did NOT live up to the expectations and/or crapped out before the end of the warranty... then there's the hassle of return/replacement. And I absolutely refuse to ever buy anything ever again with the Philips name on it ever again. As for your unit, I am intrigued a bit because I've had good luck with Toshiba. I have a 1 TB (931 gb) external hard drive that has served me well for years. And it just so happens that there are Toshiba components inside the iPod Classic. I found this out when I curiously cracked open and examined an old unit which had been crushed and broken (Hey, I didn't have anything to lose at that point!).

Love it or hate it, the iPod Classic has been easily accessible, readily available and conveniently replaceable for the better part of a decade (or more). And my current unit, which holds 160 gb capacity, is about dead. It goes about 2-3 hours before the battery needs recharging, and it's starting to get tricky in menu ops. I hate to see it go, because it's unlikely I'll find another workhorse like it, one which will hold anywhere near the 10,000+ songs I have on it. Perhaps I'll find another used one somewhere cheap...
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
Since the Zune isn't made anymore, it's a non-issue. I still might get a used Zune HD 64GB if I come across one cheap, as I see them occasionally on the local Craigslist. It's flash-memory based, so, no moving parts. Love the menu system on those.

If I were buying a portable today, it'd be one of the Sony or FiiO players, as they are solid state, and play many file formats, including lossless and high-resolution. No mechanical parts other than the headphone jack, charging/data port and any switches. (And from what a few repair people have told me, it's the charging/data port that causes the most problems on any device.) And, I believe one or both can expand using micro-SD cards.

There are places that can repair ipods though! Sounds like you need a new battery and a new clickwheel. Both are plentiful, last time I checked. If the hard drive has some life left in it, that may not be a bad idea if you like the player.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
You'd better enjoy that iPod while it lasts. Especially if it's an iPod Classic.
Mine IS an iPod Classic. I've had it at least 8 or 9 years, I'm not even sure how long. Maybe longer than that. It has a pretty cushy life -- it lives in my pickup's glove box, and the truck is garaged every night, so it never gets very cold. The worst extremes it ever sees are hot summer temps, but it has never had a problem outside of needing a reboot every once in a blue moon. The only time it ever leaves the pickup is to get updated from my computer, or when we go on plane trips maybe once or twice a year.

The only problem I ever had with iTunes was when I had a computer hard drive fail -- tried to restore the backup and it only restored about 2/3 of my stuff. Most of the items left out were compilations I had made myself, but other random stuff was missing too -- like the entirety of that Burt Bacharach "A&M Years" collection, which I had separated out into the individual albums.

Of course now that I've bragged on my iPod it'll probably crash tonight. [braces self for a major irritation]
 

Stephen Vakil

Well-Known Member
DownBeat magazine just released its new issue (December 2015) and did a review of Come Fly With Me. Unfortunately, one of their curmudgeons wrote a lackluster review:

**1/2 (out of 5)

Herb Alpert continues to deliver the sunny sound he inaugurated in 1962, when his work with the Tijuana Brass propelled him to fame and fortune. Here, he leavens reimaginings of chestnuts spanning "Take The 'A' Train" and "Danny Boy" with semi-catchy originals. It's a winning formula from which Alpert rarely strays. But it's a formula; he is not known for taking chances.

His tone remains bright, his phrasing lean. Those can be admirable qualities, but if they're virtually the only ones, as they are here, they make for an album that lacks dimension and variety. Passion takes a back seat to precision - this album is produced to within an inch of its life - and only a few cuts suggest a greater range.

"Night Ride," which Alpert says was inspired by Tito Puente, approaches excitability through Alpert's multi-tracked trumpet, Scott Mayo's pushy sax and co-writer Michael Shapiro's drums and percussion. "Love Affair" huffs and puffs and eventually dramatizes, setting Alpert's piercing trumpet against plush strings in a widescreen arrangement by Eduardo del Barrio, a keyboardist and one of the recording's six engineers.

Otherwise, this is jazz as trinket souvenir, with a frequent island touch. It also feels like the last breath of summer, with its reggae overlay (which works for Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies" and the catchy original "Cheeky") and its overall jauntiness. It is always pretty, even on duds like the lackluster takes on Duke Ellington's "A' Train" and George Harrison's "Something."

This is expertly played; the musicians include the cream of smooth jazz, and there's not a note out of place. Come Fly With Me is ideal for cruise ships, its music going down like happy hour bubbly. - Carlo Wolff
This guy didn't listen carefully enough. This is a great album (although two voices are missing!). I love CFWM, Love Affair and Night Ride to name but three - I'm surprised that Love Affair didn't get more votes in the poll. I also don't think he's followed Herb's work - to say that he's not known for taking chances is just wrong.
 

Captain Bacardi

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Thread Starter
JazzTimes magazine just came out with a nice review of Come Fly With Me:

Herb Alpert
Come Fly With Me

By Christopher Loudon

HERBALPERT_CFWM_COVER_900x900-e1438719481524_span3.jpg



More than 50 years have passed since Herb Alpert burst onto the international music scene with his Tijuana Brass and proved, quite literally, instrumental in presaging the smooth-jazz movement that he’s still a vital part of. As one of the most admired music titans of that past century, his success with the TJB is dwarfed by his achievements as a mogul (cofounder of A&M), educator and philanthropist. Yet, at age 80, he remains at heart a passionate trumpet player. There was a lengthy period, starting around the turn of the century and stretching for nearly a decade, when he went quiet. Then, with 2009’s Anything Goes, began a welcome renaissance. Now five albums in, he delivers by far the finest session of his career resurgence. This is Alpert’s first postmillennial disc without his wife, singer Lani Hall, nor does he himself add any vocals. The focus is squarely on his playing, which, noticeably ragged on a couple of previous releases, has regained most of its clarity and vigor.

Though he disbanded the Brass in 1969, its breezy influence is still evident, particularly on zesty treatments of “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” “Night Ride” (one of five Alpert originals) and the Sinatra-associated title track. But Come Fly With Me is far more inventive than nostalgic. Alongside such regular session-mates as bassist Hussain Jiffry, drummer Michael Shapiro and keyboardists Eduardo del Barrio, Bill Cantos and Jeff Lorber, he experiments with a spectrum of rhythms and textures. Cleverest among them: his reggae-laced takes on “Got a Lot of Livin’ to Do” and the loping “Walkin’ Tall”; the programming-driven (courtesy of son Randy) panache of “Sweet and Lovely” and “Windy City”; and the calypso-charged “Cheeky.” Most sublime: his slow-chugging, crepuscular “Take the ‘A’ Train.”

http://jazztimes.com/articles/171469-come-fly-with-me-herb-alpert
 
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