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🎵 Classic AOTW Herb Alpert & The TJB - BEAT OF THE BRASS SP-4146

What Is Your Favorite Song On This Album?

  • Monday, Monday

    Votes: 3 8.1%
  • A Beautiful Friend

    Votes: 2 5.4%
  • Cabaret

    Votes: 1 2.7%
  • Panama

    Votes: 8 21.6%
  • Belz Mein Shtetele Belz

    Votes: 1 2.7%
  • Talk To The Animals

    Votes: 1 2.7%
  • Slick

    Votes: 11 29.7%
  • She Touched Me

    Votes: 3 8.1%
  • Thanks For The Memory

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The Robin

    Votes: 2 5.4%
  • This Guy's In Love With You

    Votes: 5 13.5%
  • Never Heard This Album

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    37

Captain Bacardi

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Thread Starter
Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass
THE BEAT OF THE BRASS

A&M SP-4146

sp4146.jpg

Released May 1968

Peaked at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart

"Cabaret" peaked at #72 on the Hot 100 Singles Chart
"This Guy's In Love With You" peaked at #1 on the Hot 100 Singles Chart (4 weeks) and the Adult Contemporary Chart (10 weeks)
"Slick" peaked at #36 on the Adult Contemporary Chart and #119 on the Bubbling Under Chart

Format: Vinyl/Reel-to-Reel/8-Track/Cassette/CD

Produced by Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss
Arranged by Herb Alpert

Tracks:
  • SIDE 1
    1. Monday, Monday (John & Michelle Phillips) - 3:08
    2. A Beautiful Friend (Sol Lake) - 3:16
    3. Cabaret (J. Kander/F. Ebb) - 2:38
    4. Panama (Julius Wechter) - 3:36
    5. Belz Mein Shtetele Belz (My Home Town) (J. Jacobs/Alex Olshanetsky) - 2:14
    6. Talk To The Animals (Leslie Bricusse) - 2:14

    SIDE 2
    1. Slick (Herb Alpert/John PIsano) - 3:29
    2. She Touched Me (Sol Lake) - 2:58
    3. Thanks For The Memory (L. Robin/R. Rainger) - 2:05
    4. The Robin (John Pisano) - 2:22
    5. This Guy's In LOve With You (H. David/B. Bacharach) - 3:55

The beat of America is more than a musical experience. It finds its pulse and rhythms in the very life of the country: the crack of a bat against a baseball, the spinning wheels and pounding machinery of a modern factory, a swinging crowd in New Orleans at Mardi Gras, a saddle bronc twisting desperately against his rider - a young girl walking. Add the shimmering lights of Times Square, State Street and the Las Vegas Strip, the rhythmic churning of a MIssissippi paddlewheel, and a man in love with a woman.

All these form a small part of the American beat - and the American beat itself merely reflects the life of people from any and everywhere. The tempo of life - as varied and moody, sad and capricious, driving and smooth as the tempo of Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass. Listen to the beat of people alive - listen to the Beat Of The Brass.

Tom Mankiewicz


Engineered by Larry Levine
Studios: Gold Star Recording Studios
Album Design by Corporate Head
Art Director: Tom Wilkes
Photography: Guy Webster
Contributing Photographer: Jim McCrary



Capt. Bacardi
 

mikeargo

Well-Known Member
This album was somehow instantly the gold standard TJB album for me when it came out. The gatefold covers, the gorgeous front cover photograph, the colorful photo montage inside, all spelled CLASS. And of course there was the TV special tie-in that magnified the musical impressions for me for years thereafter. There are a few clunkers in the mix, as with any TJB outing, but the great tracks were truly great and seemed to transcend everything that had come before. A solid, heroic opener for each side and lots of diversity. I picked "Slick" as my favorite track, but I could as easily have selected "Panama" or "The Robin" or "She Touched Me." A fine album that will always be high on my list of the best TJB sounds.

-Mike A.
 

Captaindave

Well-Known Member
This is one of my favorite TJB albums, although I like them all.

Here, the sound has matured from the novelty Ameriachi sound of LB to a highly polished, pop/jazz influenced, tuxedo wearing, smooth and classy Top 40 hit producing, best of American popular music bands. Long journey here from Tijuana bull rings...

The song that did it for me on this album was Slick, because it symbolized the cool and classy sound and presentation that the TJB had developed by this time. I remember them playing it in concert in 1968 - it was like the sound had finally completely grown up and matured, and the progression and evolution of the TJB as one of the truly major artists and huge musical sounds and styles during that decade had finally arrived - in that song. But, I also like others such as Panama, The Robin, Monday Monday, and, of course, This Guy's...was the biggie hit of the era.

For anyone fortunate enough to have been around then and old enough to have gone to some concerts and seen all this when it was actually happening at its peak...you will relate to my meaning.

If you were alive at the time and coming of age as I was, you will know what I mean and remember the times well...this album was a milestone in the history of this artist. It is a "period piece" for its time - 1968.
 

Dave

Well-Known Member
The album with the song everyone has a different spin on: "Talk To The Animals", which I do like... It is a good throwback to the "good ol' TjB Ameriachi sound", much like Warm's "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" would also have...

Did the much brighter and more up-front presentation bring out the best in this group and make up for the more sombre and melancholy portrait painted by the previous album?

With the remakes of The hit song, authored by John & Michelle Phillips, of the Mamas & The Papas-fame, "Monday, Monday", The show-bizzy "Cabaret", the FIDDLER ON THE ROOF-esque traditional Yiddish folk song, "Belz Mein Shtetele Belz (My Home Town)" and of course the timeless standard, "Thanks For The Memory"...,

As well as "the TjB song-mill originals", such as the hard bop of "Slick", the "8th Tijuana" Julius Wechter-written "Panama", the sentimental "A Beautiful Friend", the airy & spirited "The Robin" and the lovelorn romanticism of "She Touched Me"...,

--Well, it SHOULD'VE...!!!! --And it DID...!!!!


The eternal centerpiece or lasting highpoint of this album will be nearly-everyone's favorite, including mine, "This Guy's In Love With You", ironic how this piece features a li'l less trumpet and gets carried mostly by Herb's moody, moving touching vocal... Perhaps a brief throwback to Herbie's days as "Dore"...

But, anyway, yeh, this is a definitive TjB outing, lending a lot to more MOR and Easy Listening type of music and less of the more novelty and "trying to be teeny-bopper" hip party craft of the first two albums...

Certainly the one Herb Alpert/TjB that I would give five stars to, (and that goes for the added bonus of the photos inside the gatefold sleeve; perhaps owed to the lack of "other demonstrable features" this medium could provide in its day) as from this extraordinary impression you get of a complete picture and package, eternally everlasting...!!!!!!



Dave
 

Steve Sidoruk

Founder, A&M Fan Net
Staff member
Moderator
925_G.jpg

A&M 925 SLICK b/w CABARET

slick+925+promo.jpg

A&M 925 SLICK (both sides) Promo

929_G.jpg

A&M 929 THIS GUY'S IN LOVE WITH YOU b/w A QUIET TEAR

This+Guy929promo.jpg

A&M 929 THIS GUY'S IN LOVE WITH YOU b/w A QUIET TEAR
Promo

Yo+Soy+960.jpg

A&M 960 YO SOY ESE AMOR b/w LOVE SO FINE - Spanish version
of This Guy's In Love With You.

This+Guy929Italy.jpg

AM 825 UN RAGAZZO CHE TI AMA b/w HELLO DOLLY -
Italian version of This Guy's In Love With You.

bobSP446.jpg

A&M SP 446 THE BEAT OF THE BRASS stereo jukebox Little LP.

No recording session notes were located for this album. :sad:
 
I had to vote for Slick. Honestly, it is the one of the first two songs off of this album that I ever heard (the other being, of course, Cabaret) because I had a copy of the 45 of those two when I was a kid (okay, technically I guess I probably still have it, but I don't have a record player to listen to it on anymore).

Many of the other tracks on this album are excellent as well, but you can put me squarely in the camp of people who are comparatively less impressed with Talk To The Animals than with the instrumental numbers. Actually, I'm even streakish regarding This Guy's In Love With You. Some days I can listen to it and appreciate it, and other days it's a press of the skip track button waiting to happen. Still, those two "clunkers" (comparatively speaking) being disregarded, the other nine songs are all very worthwhile additions to the TJB catalog.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Cap'n D gives the LP a nice review.

I think the LP is an improvement over Ninth -- both in Herb's performance (his tone is brighter and more lively) and song selection (the originals are far more interesting).

Four of the five originals are my faves (Panama, The Robin, A Beautiful Friend, She Touched Me). Slick is OK -- I like it more now (thanks mainly to Cap'n D's writings about it awhile back...) -- but, to me, it's still just an R&B thing that's not very original. (Also, I wish to heck Nick would've been a bit more inventive with his drum fills...the groove totally begs for some cool embellishments at the turnarounds and minor transitions...yet little to nothing occurs.)

As for the rest, Monday, Monday runs on "autopilot rhythm" -- and the dixieland treatment is lost on me. The original is a melancholy number, so Herb's version is a total re-work. (Herb is notorious for totally re-inventing a song -- one of the unique TjB attributes. For instance, speeding up a ballad; e.g., I'm Getting Sentimental Over You; or slowing down an up-tempo number; e.g., The Trolley Song.)

Cabaret is done really well. Check out how Nick begins to support the song's climax with his 8/8 ride -- right through to his 16th-note tom fill. Nice job!

"My Home Town" is probably a Jewish folk / pop song. Actually, it features what may be the most lengthy stab at an improvised solo Herb put down to date on a TJB release. He plays particularly well here.

Thanks For The Memory is a throwaway -- the band learned this one in about 15 minutes...probably designed to get the group on a Bob Hope Living Colour TV Special. (Ironically, its inclusion foreshadowed the group's future; it would've slotted perfectly on The Brass Are Comin').

It's a good LP, but it's obvious that the magic, sparkle, and spontaneity captured during the !!Going Places!! -- Sounds Like... period is now part of the past. In retrospect, and for all practical purposes, this is the last real TjB LP.
 

audiofile

Member
I love this album. Even though most of the album is rhythmically similar, (4 bossa novas in a row on side one, and three more on side two) the tunes are just so fantastic that you don't even realize.

Monday Monday is a little too cheesy for me, however, I still love listening to it. Out of the two Sol Lake tunes, She Touched Me is by far superior in composition and arrangement. The part where Julius plays a line followed by Nick's bass drum is just so cool and classy. Beautiful Friend is still a great tune though. I like Cabaret, but it is no where near my other favorites on this record. Panama is one of Julius's best compositions. The groove on this tune is super tight and it is given clever treatment. I always used to skip "My Home Town," but recently I discovered just what a great song it is. Herb's trumpet solo is phenomenal. Absolutely stunning. It's soulful and bluesy like we never heard Herb before. His playing on the head is also note able. Talk To The Animals should of been left alone. It's completely the wrong song for this album.

Slick, is a great song, but it is not Hard Bop at all! It's not even a jazz tune. There's nothing about this song that's close to straight ahead jazz. Nick's drumming here is completely different than what he would be doing with say Art Pepper, Zoot Sims, or Mundell Lowe. He plays four on the floor on the bass drum and accents two and four on the snare, which really wouldn't be done in a modern straight ahead jazz setting. There aren't even any choruses of blowing.....Anyway.... The tune itself ain't that special, but the way Herb voiced the horns on the B section is absolutely stunning. Hey James, do you feel like transcribing this for me? There's a couple chords during the C section which I haven't been able to pick out that well.

Thanks For The Memory is okay, but not great. John Pisano hits another home run with his tune, The Robin. It's such a pretty composition. I love how this arrangement keeps modulating up. Just when you think they're going to settle in a certain key.....it modulates up again, until it comes to a beautiful resolution. Bob's trombone is also worth paying extra attention too. I was never a fan of This Guy's, but I'm starting to appreciate it more. It's a nice tune,..

All in all, I think this album is great.
 

Captaindave

Well-Known Member
Slick is a great "in concert" tune.

When it was done live on stage, they punched it hard and it definitely grooved and kicked some "back-side".

I remember that from 1968 in concert.

All three brass players were in unison on the main line of the song until they hit the bridge. And they did not hesitate to really "belt it out"...
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
mikeargo said:
This album was somehow instantly the gold standard TJB album for me when it came out. The gatefold covers, the gorgeous front cover photograph, the colorful photo montage inside, all spelled CLASS.

One of the sad facts of the CD era is that neither release (the old A&M and the new Shout Factory version) managed to capture the "class" of the original LP package.

The original A&M actually better replicated the color of the cover. Shout's version is tinted too far to the red side, making the trees in the background look too pinkish. They also washed out the greens in the field of gold in the foreground.

You would have thought that the "digipak" format would have lent itself well to the old gatefold format, but I suppose the intent was to make the album conform to all of the rest.

I realize that the gatefold cover of the LP was really paying an homage to the television special in those days before VCR's, and that the little pictures of Petula Clark et. al would be meaningless to most of today's buyers, but still - it would have been nice.

Favorite track has to be "This Guy's In Love With You", but my favorite instrumental track is either "Slick" or "The Robin".

Harry
 

Captain Bacardi

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Thread Starter
audiofile said:
Hey James, do you feel like transcribing this for me? There's a couple chords during the C section which I haven't been able to pick out that well.

I have the sheet music for "Slick", and here's the chord progression for the C section:

E+ (2 bars)
F+/E (2 bars)
E+ (2 bars)
Db9/E (2 bars)
E9 (2 bars)
Db9/E (2 bars)
Bb9/E (2 beats)
G9/E (2 beats)
E9 (2 beats)
G9/E (2 beats)
Bb9/E (2 beats)
E9 and back to the head....

I did a big band arrangement of this several years ago that sounded great. I opened it up in the middle for solos with a Bb blues progression.



Capt. Bacardi
 

Captaindave

Well-Known Member
The basic chords for the main line of the song alternate between C9 and Bb9...the trumpet's first note is 4th line D.
 

Captain Bacardi

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Thread Starter
That would be for trumpet, but the concert chords would be Bb9 and Ab9. That's what I love about this song - the ninths add a little extra texture.


Capt. Bacardi
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
audiofile said:
...Hey James, do you feel like transcribing this for me? There's a couple chords during the C section which I haven't been able to pick out that well...
I see both Capn's beat me too the punch!

Anyway, for what it's worth... Putting on my arranger's cap, the song really has just four chords:

A: Bb7/6 | Ab7/6
Transcribed down 1 step from Cap'n D's trumpet part... Oh yes, there are subtle 9ths as well!

B: C-9
Someone in there may be adding a subtle 4th, which would make it a Csus9 voicing.

C: Edim6
I don't like the chords Cap'n B's sheet music offers...too complicated! [I ran through the chords -- I don't feel they're the most accurate representation of the TjB arrangement.] If you follow the 2-part harmony, you'll notice that the two trumpets, vibes, and guitar are simply playing up and down a dim6 chord -- whereby with each 2-bar section an inversion occurs. The key is to hold that E in the bass. For my 2 cents, I'd score it as an E pedal with altered inversions / variations on the diminished 6 chord...that's what I hear Herb playing and it's clear both the vibes and guitar fully support these notes.

The cool thing about this piece is that it's an open-ended swinger...then that C section comes along and tightens the whole ensemble up...then it's back to blowing...Ironically enough, for such a "loose 'n groove" tune, there is no solo. (Why for goodness sakes didn't John at least take a solo? Would've been cool for him to solo out with the vibes underneath.)
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
"Monday Monday" and "Panama" are my favorites here, althoough I like all of the songs with "Animals" being my least favorite (and I can even tolerate that when I'm in the right kind of mood).

On "Monday," I really like the Bob Edmondson trombone parts. He and Herb really sound like they're having more and more fun as the song goes on. And, those chimes on the choruses grab me every time - Herb used chimes a bit in the "wall of sound" that is "Flamingo," but they are deployed much more effectively here I think.

"Panama" is notable for the Wechter vibe work, and also again, Bob's trombone fills -- it's basically a Herb/Bob duet for much of the song.

I like "Slick" too but of the two side-openers, "Monday Monday" beats it out in my book. Guess I'm in the minority on that one.
 

Captaindave

Well-Known Member
Captain Bacardi said:
That would be for trumpet, but the concert chords would be Bb9 and Ab9. That's what I love about this song - the ninths add a little extra texture.


Capt. Bacardi

Correct...Bb trumpet reads one step higher than the piano, which is in C...and the 9th note of the C chord would be D...so the guitar/piano would play Bb9 and Ab9.
 

Captaindave

Well-Known Member
JO said:
audiofile said:
...Hey James, do you feel like transcribing this for me? There's a couple chords during the C section which I haven't been able to pick out that well...

C: Edim6
Ironically enough, for such a "loose 'n groove" tune, there is no solo. (Why for goodness sakes didn't John at least take a solo? Would've been cool for him to solo out with the vibes underneath.)[/color]

There were pretty much no solos with the original TJB...I never saw any solos other than Bob Edmondson and a little Pisano, until the reorganized group came along in the 1970s...my opinion, FWIW, is that there was some slight difference between the format of the 1960s "presentation" as compared with the reorganized 1970s version. I think the original was more "structured" with very little other than Herb and some Edmondson (I'm Getting Sentimental...) and a little bit of Pisano (Zorba the Greek) as solos. I don't think the concept was to showcase the sidemen...Herb was the front man and the show revolved around him. The TJB were sidemen who were hired to play the songs behind Herb. But, this is another topic of its own...and I'm mostly talking about concert performance here; not what may have happened in the studio with instruments like marimba or other small solos done in the studio for recordings, etc.
 

Captaindave

Well-Known Member
Captaindave said:
Steve Sidoruk said:
Julius had solos, starting with Desafinado on The Lonely Bull album. :D

But, this is another topic of its own...and I'm mostly talking about concert performance here; not what may have happened in the studio with instruments like marimba or other small solos done in the studio for recordings, etc.

I think we are both typing at the same time... :wink:
 

rickster

New Member
Wow, I know i am alone with this opinion, but I still find the album pretty tired. And Herb sounds pretty tired , also. I remember hearing his vocal on "This Guy's" for the first time on the radio, and I thought to myself, the Tijuana Brass as I know and loved them are officially dead. It's a really tame recording , especially when compared to the energy and innovation of South of the Border, Whipped Cream , and Going Places. "Slick" is the only track that compared with the earlier period, for me. Also, Herb's playing around this time, discussed ad infinitum on this forum, was definitely not at the level of the afore mentioned albums. To me it just sounds like an album that Herb had to quickly get together for a TV special, and to that end it has a overly commercial quality to it that still resonates negatively with me even today. I mean, "Talk to the Animals" ???? Come ON, Herb.
 

Dave

Well-Known Member
I agree, in the sense that the good-time party feel of the earlier albums was lost, and Ninth was really a radical departure from the previous sound, which Beat Of The Brass all but recovered...

Still, despite the MOR underpinnings and the more EZ-list'nin' nature of the material, this is a TjB album I like and along with Ninth and Warm, do play most often...

Even if "Slick" seems to be the only hold-over from the "good ol' days", while "Monday, Monday" gets a jarring treatment beyond recognition, and "Thanks For The Memory" does seem like a "quickie, mundane musical exercise", which could'a stretched out into a spontaneous jam you'd expect it to delve into, but somehow loses steam...

The take on "Talk To The Animals" here, I must admit must have grown on me; I don't wince when I hear it as I did when I took a copy of this LP for a "test drive" in the store... The didactic nature of the vocals and xylophone of this track is easily offset by the nice trumpet solo gives, that this is an able vehicle for and as an instrumental might not have been as effective--and it is in some "good sense", the way it was done...

Buoyed by the success of "This Guy's In Love With You", though, this new "setting" in a totally different playing field, does, to me, stretch out to that fraction of worth-while, which I think highly of...



Dave
 

david

New Member
I remember watching a TJB special on television in 1968 (?) and Herb was playing ”Slick.” All I can remember is cheerleaders being in it. Anyway, I remember my father saying “Now that’s what I’ve been waiting to hear Herb play, a song that reminds me of the energy he is capable of.” In other words, my father was implying that he missed the vigor of the TJB and “Slick” brought some of that back. I am curious Captain Dave, what did that song sound like in concert?
 

Captain Bacardi

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Thread Starter
I remember the first time I heard "Slick", and it was at a drive-in movie. I can't remember exactly what movie we were seeing (I want to say "The Dirty Dozen", but I'm not 100% sure on that), but they had a local radio station playing on those speakers that you hooked on your window, and "Slick" was playing. A few months later my Dad bought The Beat Of The Brass album and I played that song over and over.

To me this was the last great original TJB album. Herb's tone on the trumpet was going downhill, but the music was festive for the most part. "Panama" has always been another favorite, and a bit of a departure from past songs. I also loved the two Sol Lake tunes, "A Beautiful Friend" and especially "She Touched Me". Gotta love the dueling trombone at the opening and close of "Cabaret", a song I never really cared for no matter who did it. I've already mentioned my disdain of "Talk To The Animals", so there's no point in going over that again. I do like the quasi-Dixie feel of "Monday, Monday". The chimes were an interesting touch on that tune.

I always liked the 45 version of "This Guy" a little more than the LP version mainly because the 45 has a few extra seconds at the end.



Capt. Bacardi
 

Captaindave

Well-Known Member
david said:
I am curious Captain Dave, what did that song sound like in concert?

Very much like the recording, but instead of hearing a sax playing along with the trumpets, it was the trombone. All three brass players played in unison until they got to the bridge, and then they split into harmony.

I seem to recall it had a little bit more "rock" type of groove to it. The rhythm section "laid on it" a little bit harder and heavier with a little bit more "drive", giving it a maximum amount of "punch." There were a couple other songs that had this kind of feeling in concert; namely Lonely Bull and Winds of Barcelona.

There were no vibes. They just went right into the song without any of the vibe licks anywhere. There was also no big brass "fall-off" right at the beginning like is heard on the recording.

For concert performances, the TJB streamlined and slightly rearranged some of their songs that depended on more instrumentation in the studio. That would be necessary to play with only seven players.

Having heard this group play several times back in the day when they were at their peak, I find it amusing at times to hear how some people speculate that there might have been something lacking in the sound - for example, without a marimba, etc (of course, the reorganized TJB of the 1970s did have the marimba on stage). Well, the sound lacked nothing. Clean, clear, tight, and if any mistakes were made, no one in the audience would have ever heard it. I have never heard more technically perfect, accurate, well rehearsed, polished performances than came off those 1960s stages when these guys played. They were the ultimate "pros." Since the very first time I heard this group in concert, I thought that it would be just about impossible to get any better as far as overall sound was concerned.
 
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