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Official Review !! Going Places !! [Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass]

Discussion in 'The Beat of The Brass: Herb Alpert/Tijuana Brass' started by Rudy, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass


    Previously released as mono LP-112, stereo SP-4112, on A&M CD 3264, and on Shout! Factory CD as DK 30765


    Side One
    1. Tijuana Taxi (Ervan Coleman) 2:05
    2. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You (George Bassman) 1:59
    3. More And More Amor (Sol Lake) 2:44
    4. Spanish Flea (Julius Wechter) 2:07
    5. Mae (Riz Ortolani) 2:27
    6. 3rd Man Theme (Anton Karas) 2:28

    Side Two
    1. Walk, Don't Run (J. Smith) 1:50
    2. Felicia (John Pisano) 2:45
    3. And The Angels Sing (Mercer-Elman) 2:34
    4. Cinco De Mayo (Chris Montez) 2:15
    5. A Walk In The Black Forest (Schwarzwaldfahrt) (Jankowski) 1:48
    6. Zorba The Greek (Mikis Theodorakis) 4:25

    Produced by Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss
    Arranged by Herb Alpert
    Engineered by Larry Levine
    Gold Star Recording Studios

    Liner notes:

    This is the fifth album from a group which our abbreviation-minded world is beginning to call the TJB--Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass.

    The TJB's previous albums and singles have sold like hot tortillas (and tortillas themselves have been selling faster than ever even north of the border).

    "Going Places," this newest musical piñata from Trumpeter Herb Alpert and his men, should do equally well. In fact, their zitherless zing through "The Third Man Theme" took off as a single even before the album went to the pressers.

    The reason for the TJB's swift success seems obvious. A new sound nowadays is hard to find--a good new sound. Herb Alpert found it by turning to what is probably (rain dances excepted) the oldest organized sound southwest of Dodge City, the strolling Mexican mariachi band.

    It has gained something in translation, including a beat and a bass line the likes of which Pancho Villa have never heard, plus some studio wizardry that gives Herb's brave squad the fire power of a battalion.

    What remains, however, to give the TJB its special old-new flavor is the triumphant trumpet--brilliant, melancholy or, now and again, even mocking. It can (collectively) blow down the walls of the plaza de toros, or chant a moonlight duet with the mandolin.

    These latest sides confirm what has been hinted in earlier outings by the Tijuana Brass: that the sound carries an international passport and will travel. This is to say, the Alpert instrumentation lends itself just as nicely to the music of Manhattan or Vienna as to the music of Mexico.

    It is, in fact, a surprisingly versatile sound. And although the album title is intended geographically, "Going Places" also suggests to me that the TJB and Herb Alpert are still very much on the march, musically speaking. With each album. they discover a new range. They are, you might say, going places.

    Charles Champlin, Entertainment Editor-Los Angeles Times
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2016
  2. GOING PLACES is a tough call to evaluate. Overall, the new HAP CD has a nice, warm, more analog sound to it than prior issues – BUT, and it’s a big “but”, some of the tracks’ master tapes have seen better days.

    Tijuana Taxi – nice and clean on the old A&M CD 3264 and a Japanese POCM-1949, the master tape began to sound gritty, worn, or damaged by the time it was used for DEFINITIVE HITS. It was particularly noticeable near the end of the track where one channel seemed to drop out. Also the beginning of the track has a gritty sound in spots. The bulk of the track sounds great in the new mastering on HAP, but the grit is still evident in the early part of the track. They’ve done the best they could – but damage is damage. The cleanest versions will have to be sourced from the old CDs if you have access to them. Even the old GREATEST HITS disc has a good clean version of this track. The old masterings might be a bit thinner, but you need to pick your poison.

    I’m Getting Sentimental Over You – tough call here. The old CD-3264 version sounds crisper, but has an annoying dropout in the middle. That was fixed on the Shout and HAP version, but Shout is grittier. The HAP version has a more rounded sound to it. My favorite may come from the old GREATEST HITS, which has the advantage of crispness – and no dropout.

    More and More Amor – The HAP is a clear winner here, nice and round analog-like sound without any annoying tape damage.

    Spanish Flea – This one fared better than Taxi. The master tape was probably used as often as Taxi, but it’s held up better which means that the new HAP mastering gives it an oomph that it might have lacked before. Good bass presence gives new life to the kick drum. This one’s a winner.

    Mae – I like this new HAP mastering on this one. It was always a favorite album track and the new rounder sound on this one balances the track better. On the “crisper” A&M CD, Herb’s harsher trumpet fights more with the orchestra, here on the new disc, he blends better. The shout disc has a nasty dropout at the start of the track, eliminating it from competition .

    3rd Man Theme – Give the gold medal to the new mastering. Solid bass propels the track and gives it an oomph it lacked on the others. The track on the Shout disc starts with an annoying whoosh/thump, and while it’s still present here, it doesn’t seem as bad. The old A&M disc sounds a little more wide-panned which at times makes the track uncomfortable in headphones, but it’s not true on the slightly-narrowed HAP disc.

    Walk, Don’t Run – Again, the gold goes to the new mastering on HAP. The Tijuana Brass’ definitive rock and roll track only sounds better with the new mastering. This track throughout its history has either had – or not – a sound of a scratching guitar string as it begins. The old A&M CD edits it out, but it’s present on both Shout and HAP. It’s actually most present on the old mono LP.

    Felicia – this one’s a toss-up. All versions sound pretty good. The new HAP is a bit rounder with a more solid bass foundation.

    And The Angels Sing – I’m going to go with the old A&M or Japanese POCM on this one. One of the attractions to this track is the nifty drum work by Nick Ceroli and the brighter A&M disc brings out the cymbals and percussive work better. The new mastering is a bit duller, though has a little beefier bass.

    Cinco De Mayo – Go with the new HAP mastering on this one. A noisy, Mexican-type song, it sounds better tamed down a little bit.

    A Walk In The Black Forest – It sounds like a bouncier “walk” in the new HAP mastering with its better bass presence, though all versions sound pretty good. When the original LP label was printed, someone got confused and listed “Schwarzwaldfahrt” as one of the composers. It is of course the track’s title in German. The error has carried through, on and off, for all these years and is still present in 2106. Lesson to be learned: proofread carefully. Your mistake could last through centuries!

    Zorba The Greek – the new mastering is the winner here, adding new life to the bass and taming some of the harshness of earlier versions. My favorite though is still the shorter mono single version with its added trombone part, but that one’s never seen life on an official CD.
    Bobberman likes this.
  3. zen

    zen New Member

    Big agreement. This has never been my favorite TJB recording, but this version, man, it blew me away. Overall, I enjoyed this albums mastering.
    Steven J. Gross and Rudy like this.
  4. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    Sounds like the bulk of the tracks are improved. I haven't gotten this far in my listening yet. Looking forward to it though.

    This is probably (in my opinion at least) the best TJB album to introduce a "newbie" to the group - this being the first of five LPs where the group was really firing on all cylinders and riding the crest of the wave. Earlier albums, they hadn't quite found it yet; later ones, the sound could be a tad bit tired at times (even though there are numerous great tunes on ALL the albums), but on this album and the four after it, the Brass was actually pure gold.
    toeknee4bz and Bobberman like this.
  5. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    This seems to me to be the Most Energetic and steady paced album in the TJB catalog given the fact The Brass became a Real Group here and there was a freshness to the songs and just listening to this you can't help but feel it.
    toeknee4bz and Acapulco 1922 like this.
  6. BBrownlie

    BBrownlie New Member

    I love this album and look forward to getting it on HAP. Sure wish there were bonus tracks featuring the singles versions (for all the reissues). I still hear them in my head when listening to the album versions.
  7. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    I have always considered it the most upbeat, with the prior two albums immediately close behind. This and Whipped Cream were likely my favorites while growing up and that upbeat feeling has a lot to do with it.

    Of the two 70s TJB concerts I saw, they closed with "Zorba" and it was a heck of a high note to leave the concert on! (I mean, really, how could you successfully follow up a track like "Zorba" without it being a letdown? :D )
    toeknee4bz and Bobberman like this.
  8. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I agree You Can't Top "Zorba" It was The Perfect Closer in concert. And on The Albums " Going Places And The 1970 Greatest Hits Album. I think it's A No Brainer.
    Harry likes this.
  9. ^ It makes a great closer even if you're going alphabetically! :D
    Bobberman likes this.
  10. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    I have a USB thumb drive in the car, and I tend to rename the tracks on it using a format of 01-Tijuana Taxi.wma so that the player can play them in order. When I came across a newer album I had forgotten to rename the tracks on, it of course played the tracks in alphanumerical order. It made me wonder if anyone had ever recorded an album where the tracks were put in order alphabetically.

    I know of one that arranged the tracks in a specific order, albeit non-alphabetical. Simon Phillips' album Symbiosis. Rather than give it away, I'll give the track order here... :wink:

    1 Symbiosis
    2 You Restless Angel
    3 Midair Decision
    4 Biplane to Bermuda
    5 Isis
    6 Out of the Blue
    7 Starfish Spaghetti
    8 Indian Summer
    9 Sea of Sighs

    (Good album BTW; kind of an updated take on fusion jazz from the 70s and 80s.)
  11. Does the remaster still reveal -on "Walk Don't Run"- the finger snapping and hand-clapping-against-fist (probably, by Edmondson) in the left channel mix?
  12. DeeInKY

    DeeInKY Well-Known Member

    Got a special place in my heart for this one. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You was one that my dad tried to teach me to dance to - without much success since I have multiple left feet. Also I love that hint of surf guitar in Walk, Don't Run.
  13. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    Before I forget, I should add a comment to say that the vinyl version of this remaster sounds superb--a great cutting job by Bernie on this one. It has a warm but very "open" sound throughout.
  14. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Every time i Listen to Going places it Still Sounds Fresh To Me and im reminded of the first time i heard several of these songs on the Greatest hits Album and especially hearing GP in Greater detail i sure wore out my first vinyl copy of it (which sadly was the case for many of my first vinyl LPs ) i even remember the first time i heard the "Third Man Theme".Herb really made it "rock". In a way it had never been done before.
  15. David S

    David S Active Member

    Zorba! As a kid, I am told I danced like a nitwit when this would play.

    And the Angels Sing and A Walk in the Black Forest. Great stuff.
    toeknee4bz and Bobberman like this.
  16. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Agreed as a kid i liked Zorba whenever i would be playing tackle football with my brother or with friends that song was always playing in my mind at the time the energy of the music was inspiring to me
  17. I know I'm tardy to the party with my review of GOING PLACES but I have enough concerns about this release that I would like to share them and see what you all think. I read Harry's post at the top describing his opinion song by song. And then I thought why should we have to pick our poison with this release? WHIPPED CREAM had some issues and they seem to have restored and rejuvenated that whole album. The HAP version comes damn close to the original album in sonic purity and there isn't one flaw that I noticed. They got rid of the dropouts on TASTE OF HONEY. So why couldn't they clean up the beginning of TIJUANA TAXI? Or the dropout on the first sustained trumpet note of SPANISH FLEA? While they did a great job in making it more analog sounding, much of this release sounds like it came from a tired, worn master while WCAOD to me sounds like it could have been made yesterday. They also did a great job with LONELY BULL, SUMMERTIME and even VOLUME 2 sounds noticeably better. So why couldn't they work the same magic with GP? I'm sure that somewhere there is a master that was in better shape. Or perhaps they could have combined two masters and taken the best from each? And why on earth did they shorten the between track space? Taxi goes into Sentimental almost before you realize that Taxi is over. I don't see any benefit to this and it makes it sound like the album is running a marathon. It also sounds like the record level is a bit lower than the Shout version which means when I'm playing it on the changer with other discs, I have to continuously adjust the volume. I feel like they went all out on WCAOD and did a rush job on GP. Also, why did they mess with the graphics on the front of the jacket? And why did they use a rear cover that was faded? The words GOING PLACES looks like they were running out of ink when it was made. I hate to be critical but this is my favorite TJB album and after hearing what they did with WCAOD, I had high hopes for GOING PLACES. Also, unless they come out with some new high tech format, this is probably the last release we'll see of these albums. So it would have been great if they could have done better with GP. What say you?
  18. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    There is no way to undo tape damage, so it is what it is. :wink:. The tapes are reportedly in sad shape from years of usage, so it won't get much better. In another ten years they may be unplayable.

    The original art for the covers is long gone, so the new covers had to be reproduced from photographs.
    Bobberman likes this.
  19. Alternate picture from the Shout release:

    Steven J. Gross and Bobberman like this.
  20. So if they can't repair tape damage, How did they get rid of the dropouts on TASTE OF HONEY?
  21. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    I don't recall dropouts on that track, or at least it sounding much different from prior releases. (Keep in mind that memory is the first thing to go. :wink: ) But overall I'm happy with the sound on them--the dropouts really don't bother me, and figuring that the tape is 10 years older today than it was when Shout! Factory had them, there was bound to be a little more deterioration.

    But in general, when a recording is made, there are often a few different copies of that album floating around. There would be a 2-track master to which the album was mixed down onto. And from there, any number of copies could be made--one might go out to a duplication plant for cassettes or reels, some may be made for the pressing plants (and some were known to have the EQ settings for the LP mastering applied to that copy, so the engineer would not have to redo them next time--in fact, it was not uncommon ). There could be backups or "safeties" made also.

    Usually you would want to make a remastered CD from the earliest generation of tape possible so that the fidelity is preserved, so in that case, the engineer would have to decide whether to use an original master that might have a couple of dropouts, vs. a copy that may have fewer (or no) dropouts but have more background noise, dulled highs, less "punch," etc. Digitally cutting and pasting little bits from other versions of the tape is possible, but it is very tedious and exacting work--you have to exactly match the levels, the EQ, etc. so you don't hear any unevenness in the playback.

    I'm just generalizing above, but in the case of these Herb Alpert tapes, it is like Randy is giving us the best possible snapshot of how those tapes exist today, warts and all. In the grand scheme of things, the tracks for the most part sound pretty darned good for their age.
    Bobberman likes this.
  22. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Agreed Rudy They really sound Excellent. Herb .Randy.and Bernie really Did a most Superior job on these reissues.
  23. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I have a Going Places-related story I don't think I've ever told. The first time I ever DJ'd, in 1976, I was playing music for a family reunion. I had brought the Going Places LP with me for some reason....actually I think I brought every record I had, not knowing what I'd have to play.

    During the dance, somebody came up and asked if I had any "Greek music." I said I'd look, and the only thing I could think of was "Zorba the Greek." So I played it, starting with the slow part in the middle. Well, the place went absolutely bananas. They were partying like it was 1999 on that song. I had to play it again later on!
    Bobberman likes this.
  24. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    Lesson learned--Zorba is a hit at any Greek get-together. :laugh: I was at a Greek wedding once...no Zorba, but they had both a DJ and a live band--the DJ would play for a half hour, then this Greek band (playing everything in 7/8, which is a trip to try to dance to) for a half hour, then back to the DJ. The bride and groom didn't really want the traditional music, but the groom's family...insisted, so they did it to keep the peace.
    Bobberman likes this.
  25. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    Funny thing about my deal was, the family was not Greek in the slightest.....they're a bunch of Irish Catholics!
    toeknee4bz and Rudy like this.

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