Herb Alpert - The Christmas Wish

Discussion in 'The Beat of The Brass: Herb Alpert/Tijuana Brass' started by Rudy, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    The album came out when we were in Florida on vacation, and knowing my CD was at home waiting for me, I broke my usual Christmas rule and listened to it early via Amazon, and I'm glad I did. What a great album! It's so cool to hear Herb in this setting. We haven't seen a Christmas album like this in a long time.

    The orchestrations are absolutely beautiful and Herb sounds as good as ever. How can a guy in his 80s keep getting better?

    The only "downside" to it was the inclusion of "Santa Baby" which is a song I completely hate, but after listening to Herb's version I realized it was the words I hate, not the melody. So this is a winner.

    Well done, Herb and all involved. I'm going to keep it off the CD player now until the Christmas season, so it'll almost sound brand new to me again the next time I play it.
     
    Bobberman likes this.
  2. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I just ordered my copy on the 3rd and I finally got the notice today that's it's been shipped I won't get it until next week ( unfortunately amazon has been very slow lately but it's my only way now) I will give my comments on the CD after it comes and I have given it a good listen.
     
  3. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Update: I got my CD today and my goodness this is good stuff Lani did a great Heartfelt job singing on the title song and Herb improved Jesu Joy of man's desiring. By leaps and bounds although he didn't sing on the Christmas song this time around it is still a winner the whole CD is a winner and I like how he did a few medleys there too I think this Christmas album equals the excellence of his first one. VERY WELL DONE.
     
    Ronnie Madrid likes this.
  4. I received the album on double vinyl last week. The gatefold packaging is absolutely outstanding (lots of terrific pictures and great information) and the Christmas red vinyl is beautiful with great sound. The music itself is just off the charts. I own so much Christmas vinyl I can barely get through it all every year. Regardless this album will be in constant rotation for the next two and a half months. From the first song I was mesmerized by the album. It boasts wonderful arrangements and fantastic playing with tasteful and fun vocals. Herb Alpert is really a wonder. His sound is so wholly unique and his tone is as rich and beautiful as ever. So grateful this was released in the vinyl format. Keep hoping all of his albums from the last 25 years will eventually find their way to this format. Great job by all involved.
     
    Ronnie Madrid likes this.
  5. RichardWarner

    RichardWarner Active Member Contributor

    I've been meaning to post this for a long time. An obscure article that appeared in Google Books (I think the source was Billboard) included an interview with Herb when the 1968 album was released. Yes, the CD liner notes from a few years ago say the album was recorded in summer, as most holiday albums are. But the quote was that he kept remixing it well into October, and that put pressure on the production system to get the album released in time.
     
  6. David S

    David S Active Member

    Still have yet to listen to this. Waiting for the holiday music season to start (which for me is mid-November). But from what I read, it looks like I will enjoy this "record".
     
  7. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    A review from Downbeat Magazine, courtesy of our Captain Bacardi:

    Herb Alpert hasn't trimmed a tree in a recording studio since 1968, but now he's back in Yuletide mode. On The Christmas Wish (Herb Alpert Presents 177; 54:07 time ★★★★) his trumpet crackles with joy in first-rate arrangements by Chris Walden that offer fresh approaches to chestnuts like "Santa Baby" and "Winter Wonderland." Judicious employment of a 45-piece orchestra and 32-person choir reduces the threat of excessive elaboration. The meticulous singing of Alpert's wife, Lani Hall, adorns the title track.
     
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  8. Steve Sidoruk

    Steve Sidoruk Founder, A&M Fan Net Moderator

  9. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I missed this...hope it shows up again before Christmas.
     
  10. Steve Sidoruk

    Steve Sidoruk Founder, A&M Fan Net Moderator

    It will air again Monday, Noon - 2 pm.
     
  11. David S

    David S Active Member

    Saw the show from a record of it. Always annoys me when I see interviews of artists and all the interviewers seemingly focus on is past work of the artist and not the current work...

    But Mr Alpert looks good in that red Music Vol 1 suit!
     
  12. I ordered the new Christmas cd and received it a couple of weeks ago. I just wasn't in the mood to listen to Christmas music at the time I received it. I waited about a week to finally give it a listen. I listened to it twice. I have temporarily put it away until closer to Thanksgiving and what I consider to be the holiday - make that, Christmas - season.

    To be honest (and I may catch some rotten tomatoes here), I was never a big fan of Herb's first Christmas album. I loved the TJB back in the day (and still do), but their sound just didn't lend itself very well to Christmas music for my taste. For those who liked that album, that's great, it just wasn't for me. I also spent many years being a Jimmy Buffett fan. Again, his summery sound just didn't work for me when he released his first Christmas album back in the 90's I think it was.

    But, The Christmas Wish is an entirely different story! This album is already on my short list of all-time favorite Christmas albums. The arrangements remind me generally of the arrangements on those wonderful Carpenters Christmas albums with exquisite orchestral and choral backing (sometimes leading) for the stars of the show (Karen and Richard, and now Herb). And Lani does a terrific job on the title song of this new album. When I was listening to this brand new cd I was ready to put up the Christmas tree and decorate it. I was ready for snow. I was ready for a sleigh ride. I was ready to burn a yuletide log. I was ready to watch A Christmas Story for 24 hours. Well, you get the picture. For me, this is truly a Christmas album for the ages.
     
  13. David S

    David S Active Member

    Finally listened to this (Veterans Day is when I start putting in holiday music to my player). Nice record. Enjoyed the version of the Carpenters' holiday tune. I have enjoyed this record, but not sure if it is only list of all-time favorites in the genre. That said, it's certainly an enjoyable, uplifting listen.
     
  14. Mike

    Mike Active Member

    I stumbled across this CD at Tower Records in Yokohama. Hands down this is the best Christmas album I've ever heard; and I've listened to quite a few.
     
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  15. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    The day after Thanksgiving is my traditional day to break out the Christmas music, and today was no exception. While riding around today, I put Herb's new album, THE CHRISTMAS WISH into the car CD player and both the wife and I enjoyed it tremendously. Just a great, great effort.

    Typically, the wife is not all that enamored of Herb Alpert. Trumpets tend to sound brash and harsh to her, though she tolerates Herb's old TjB stuff well. Not so much most of the solo stuff, but this album went down really well with her. I think the orchestra helped mellow things out for her.

    I guess I can add another "superb" here! This will go well in my Christmas rotation.
     
    martin likes this.
  16. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    US
    It's one month from today until any holiday music hits my system...so I'm still in a holding pattern here. :wink: It's so overplayed everywhere as annoying background noise this time of year that I'm totally burned out on it before a record even hits the turntable here. Kind of sad, since the holidays weren't so commercialized in years past, and I actually looked forward to breaking the music out. Herbie's will be one of the first I play, though...guaranteed. :D
     
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  17. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    I've adjusted to the month-before model. It gives me a chance to hear all of my favorites. If I only broke it out the day before, 90% of my collection would never get listened to.

    Besides, we're in a community Chorus and have been singing Christmas stuff since September getting ready for our concert in a week or so.
     
    martin likes this.
  18. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    US
    I think if I weren't so burned out on hearing the music as a background annoyance for two months out of the year, I'd go back to listening a couple of weeks before. Thanks to purchases (many of them hopeful and/or ill-informed) and a few other circumstances (such as review/promo copies) I own probably more than 100 Xmas albums on vinyl or CD. I'm lucky if I listen to more than ten of these now. I run through a couple of the favorites once, and that's it for me.

    I miss the days from decades ago when one local radio station would play non-stop Xmas music for 36 hours, and that was a novelty. 6pm Xmas eve until midnight after the 25th.
     
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  19. AM Matt

    AM Matt Well-Known Member

    I finally heard Herb's "The Christmas Wish" which runs 54:07 in length of the CD. The songs "Santa Baby", "I'll Be Home For Christmas" & "Merry Christmas, Darling" are my favorites. Is the song "The Christmas Wish" a brand new song by Paul Williams?? Herb does not sing on the CD though. Matt Clark Sanford, MI
     
  20. Nathan Strum

    Nathan Strum Active Member

    Well, now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, The Christmas Wish has been in heavy rotation, and I'm really loving it. Definitely one of my favorites now, and easily the second-best Christmas album Herb has ever recorded. :phones:

    (It may even be better than the TJB one... but nostalgia is a mighty powerful thing.)
     
  21. Nathan Strum

    Nathan Strum Active Member

  22. Thanks for letting us know! I've been updating my book whenever I hear that one of Herb Alpert's albums gets some honor or chart position. For instance, I mentioned that "Steppin' Out" won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album, that "In the Mood" hit the Billboard 200 on release, that "Human Nature" was nominated for a Grammy for Best Contemporary Instrumental album in 2016, that "Music Volume 1" debuted at #1 on the Contemporary Jazz chart, and some other stuff. Now I can add that "The Christmas Wish" reached #1 on Amazon.com's "Best Sellers in Jazz" list.
     
  23. Chris Walden has received a Grammy nomination in the "Arrangements, instrumental or acapella" category for his arrangement of "White Christmas" on "The Christmas Wish". Well deserved - I'd never have considered using so many minor chords for a song like that but it works wonderfully. Congratulations to Chris and to everyone involved in making what has very quickly become my all-time favourite Christmas Album!
     
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  24. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    I made room on my annual Christmas compilation - a car CD that rotates about 150 WMA tracks. Deleting a dozen or so not-so-great tracks made room for the insertion of the tracks from THE CHRISTMAS WISH. They sound great in context with the other seasonal favorites - with one exception. Like all of the recent Herb Alpert albums, it's mastered very loudly. I'll have to tame the volume for another try at making the compilation.
     
  25. toeknee4bz

    toeknee4bz Well-Known Member

    I waited to listen to this album too... for a full year. I know. The obvious question: WHY?

    Because (and I might get some rotten tomatoes of my own on this one, but...) I have never been a big fan of CHOIR. The first (TJB) Christmas album, despite all of it's popularity over the years, is filled full of cringe-worthy moments where I just want to skip over and get on to the trumpet parts. The only track on that classic 1968 lp that really grabs me to this day is "Las Mananitas"... which HAS NO CHOIR. Now, with all of that being said, you can understand why I would be hesitant to delve into a new Christmas album which says right on the cover "With Symphony AND CHOIR". Don't get me wrong. I respect their immense talent(s), and they did a good job with their respective performance(s). It's just not my cup of tea.

    But to my pleasant surprise, not every track on THE CHRISTMAS WISH is drowned in sappy, syruppy choir. Obviously it starts out with it, and a few tracks here and there feature it, but the segues in the medleys required the mood to change and they did so quite nicely. And for the record, I am not anti-vocal, either. Lani sounds pretty good on the title track (as Herb did on "The Christmas Song" 49 years ago as well). But I realize that it's traditional, and most holiday albums are going to have a certain amount of choir performances somewhere along the way, whether I like it or not. Nuff said on that.

    The lush orchestral arrangements are reminiscent of many holiday gems from the past, and they are all well done. But it's Herb's trumpet solos which are, as always, phenomenal. Every time I hear him playing on a track I've never heard before, I am still left with that feeling that there will never be another trumpeter quite like him. And that's what makes this Christmas album really stand out. Each and every classic tune has his signature sound on it, his unique interpretation. And no one will ever duplicate his nuance, his verve, his passion or his creativity in the same way. Herb has done it again. Speaking of having done it again, we all know how Herb likes to give a fresh spin to tunes he has visited before, playing them in a way that we may not expect. But on this album, "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" is a classic which you can't really deviate that far. But Herb just downright MASTERS it. Hauntingly beautiful, incredible sonic texture, giving me that 'goosebump' quality that Herb has spoken of on many occasions. Wow. Just... wow.

    Despite my lack of enthusiasm for choir, this album is still a great album start to finish. I mean, hey... it's a CHRISTMAS album! And for some reason I seem to keep playing it over and over...
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
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