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Herb & Lani LIVE Vibrato 12-2-2010 Full Report

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CherryStreet

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Vibrato Bel Air, California December 2, 2009 5PM-ish…….


An unassuming Volvo eases into a parking space in front of Vibrato and Lani Hall is driving and Herb Alpert is in the passenger seat. “Lani loves to drive”, Pat Senatore told me later. Not surprising she also takes control of the golf cart in the recent BBC doc, just another reason why we love these two, no pretensions. “Just grab the car keys honey, time to go to the show”. Got to shake Herb’s hand once again, and told him how much I was looking forward to hearing some of the new stuff. That put a smile on his face. You could see that the excitement was there for a band itching to try out some new stuff after an extended break. I think the smile also comes when Herb realizes that I don’t have a bag of albums for him to sign like many of these “Rudigers”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-z_q16yDlRk
that squashed the general public after show meet & greets they used to do. That is how the night started out for me and I figured this sold out crowd was in for quite a night.

Got to Vibrato early enough for the entire sound check and got to hang out for nearly an hour with Tim Weisberg. Tim had not seen Herb & Lani in about 30 years he said and he decided to stop by Vibrato for sound check to say hello. It was great to watch Herb & Lani make the reconnection with Tim. “Tim said to Lani, “Do you remember me? I played flute on “Sundown Lady”? Lani’s jaw dropped and she called over Herb who also happened to sign Tim back in the day. Just a great day of good karma and being in the right place at the right time. Me and a roommate of mine played the sh*t out of that “Twin Sons Of Different Mothers” LP he did with Dan Fogelberg. Tim said that Epic failed to promote that album until it took off. Typical crappy label bullsh*t. Thanks for chatting Tim, just a terrific, sweet, sweet man.

After a long sound check we made our way to the Vibrato bar. I have not been in Vibrato during the holidays and it was true visual treat to see the place so tastefully decorated with white lights, a large wreath above the stage and Santa hats on all of the jazz hero busts above the bar. Pat Senatore came over and was in a jovial mood and gave me nearly 20 minutes of his time. Turns out Pat was quite ill and in the hospital recently and it took him about a month to convalescence. He looked great tonight and said that “Herb, was the first one to call him in the hospital when he got out of surgery and he called everyday after that. “That is real friend”, said Pat. “I’ve known Herb since 1960 and Herb always looked out for me, though he was laughing when he first called because I was on morphine”! BTW Pat says that the rehearsal picture posted earlier this week is shot at A&M where they also rehearsed and the empty film tins were used for ashtrays. He also said that Herb used to keep an apartment near the A&M lot so he didn’t always have to drive all the way back to Malibu. After bringing up the 1969 Royal Festival Music Hall London BBC Broadcast and how great I thought the sound was after all these years later (I was given this show recently by a dear, generous friend, I mean it’s basically a complete live TJB show complete with all of Bob’s cymbal act, it’s the live LP that never was) I was treated to stories of their soundman and why they always sounded so good on tour. “He would only mix live shows for us or Frank Sinatra. He liked to go on the road with us because of the chicks”. The guy was apparently a total operator. “We would be in Paris and he didn’t know a word of French, but he would see some girl and call her over.” Pat has been playing with the great Bob Sheppard at Vibrato and they did a show at a Napa festival this summer and are now coming to Hawaii for a show, where Pat’s son lives - he is a master surfboard designer. Not a “Surfin’ Senorita” but a “Surfin’ Senatore”!

Our conversation moved on to the recent terrific BBC doc which Pat also loved. Turns out that the interview featuring Pat, Bob & John was in fact shot at Pat’s house! “That’s my art on the walls behind us”, a gleeful Pat chimed. “They cut a great story that the BBC said I just had to tell: Brian Epstein and the Beatles threw a party for us and I was talking to George, my favorite Beatle, and I said, I hear that Ringo can roll one of the most spectacular one-handed joints that you will ever see?” “I don’t know what you are talking about”, said George reaching into his breast pocket and materializing a spectacular, bedazzled golden roach clip that he began twirling in his hands with a wicked grin on his face”.

Gerry Wersh came over and told Pat that he’s got to come over to the Foundation and pick up his “stuff”. Gerry said that they have a bunch of the old TJB outfits. “Your names are all still written in the collar”, said Gerry. “They have a Fender Precision Bass that I used from ’57 and it’s serial number is only 3 digits, that how old it is!”, said Pat. Turns out Pat is going to auction off one of his outfits and that bass for an upcoming charity event.
What a night. And the concert hasn’t even started yet. Thanks for a great evening of conversation Pat! Another terrific, sweet, sweet man.

Well enough with the name-dropping, let’s get to this great show last night. When we finally get this new CD or if you are lucky enough to see Herb & Lani live next year (I heard rumors of some additional late March dates last night which may include places like Minnesota) you will hear & see that this is now a different band with a different fuller sound and dripping with organ & horn drenched funk at times. Bill Cantos now uses a secondary synth on top of his piano, adding strings, voices and organ to some tunes and Bill also has a laptop that produces some sampled loops of Michael Shapiro’s great percussion work. This allows Michael to play a vast assortment of new instruments, like a smaller conga and Brazilian box drum on top of the sampled loops. Herb also has some interesting new mutes (we will get to that in a bit), one of these mutes looks like a smaller black version of the famous “Hannibal Lecter” mask! Here is the complete set list from Herb’s own copy that I was able to get after the show:

VIBRATO – DECEMBER 2, 2010

BESEME MUCHO – Different new start for this tune. It started with a tasty solo from Michael, Hussain and then Bill as Herb without Lani waited to enter. In years past the whole band has taken the stage at the same time. Crazy, trippy work from Herb at the beginning of this tune tonight. Have these guys really not been playing together live for the last 8 months? Sounded like they have playing live for months.

PARARAIO – Lani takes to the stage. This crowd quickly learns that she along with this amazing band is also in fine “voice” this evening. But they should have come around for sound check, Tim & I could have told you that she was going to be “on” this evening!

MOONDANCE – Before starting, Herb asked us if we were ready for our close-ups on account of the CBS Sunday Morning crew in the house and the “waiver” notices we all had to agree to. They did it right just two cameras, one actually shooting film, imagine that, and using the Vibrato’s acoustics just like the BBC did. Pat also told me the reason none of that footage shot using the elaborate multi-cam and flying-jib boom on October 8, 2008 that I have mentioned in the past will never be used, “Herb hated it”. The simple, unobtrusive approach in this place works the best. Herb started by saying, “Here are a couple songs off our new CD, “I Feel You” which will come out in February and this show (CBS Sunday Morning) will come out in February 2012, we’ll see how it goes tonight (huge laughter). A funky baseline from Hussain starts this new tune off and then Herb comes in playing that familiar medley and then Lani comes in and Herb joins in on vocals. Very unique arrangement that this band loves to do with some Brazilian chorus breaks thrown in. I loved it and I think everyone here will too.

FEVER – I’ve seen this tune on the set list numerous times in the past as an alternative Encore track so I’d been looking forward to it though I got to hear major sections of it during sound check. What the hell took so long guys! Why have you been sitting on this! Just a spectacular new highlight of the evening. I’m sure this will be a major favorite off of the new CD and tour. I could go on about the funky smooth horn & Hammond B3 sound from Herb & Bill, but it was Lani who gave us the fever. What a lovely way to burn.

VIOLA FORA DE MODA – This track used to be coupled with “Blackbird” but now gets a full slot all to it’s own when they do it live. First very funny & cute moment of the night. Lani got complete “deer-in-the headlights” eyes and just told us, “I forgot the words”. Give the gal a break, she’s been off for nearly a year. Lani composed herself and then proceeded to take us on a magic samba ride along with this amazing band. Herb was also just spectacular tonight on this tune. Someone asked Herb how do he and Lani keep a 41-year relationship going, “We’ve had our differences, Lani likes lyrics, I like melodies, but we’ve, made it work”.

TJB MEDLEY – Tonight it started off with a slower stripped down version of “What Now My Love” which has been added to the medley. I personally like the slower start approach like they used to do in ’08 as opposed to the faster start the adopted in 2009. Still clearly the crowd favorite of the night. We will have to wait and see if this was just for the CBS shoot or if the folks east of the Mississippi will finally get to see this medley live in February next year. Lani was back singing her “do, do doya-do’s” during the slower portion of “Taste of Honey” which was great and then they slammed it home. One of my top 3 takes of this medley and that was after nearly a year off. This very vocal crowd ate it up.

OPATO – Quack. Smooth as pâté last night. Or with all of the holiday decorations at the lovely Vibrato last night, it was tasty as a “turducken”.

LET’S FACE THE MUSIC – On Herb’s set list he has the word (STRANGE) next to the “M” to remind him what mute to use. Is this the name he’s given to the “Hannibal Lecter” mute? Perhaps Mr. Cantos can clear this up. Lani always points to Eden when she sings, “There maybe trouble ahead”. Get out of the spotlight girl!

ACC./THIS GUY – The second very sweet and wonderful incident of the evening. Herb’s mic was shorting out and he stopped the song and decided to start it all over again. “I’m starting over again baby! Who owns this place anyways?!” And just like Lani who was tripped up earlier, Herb took a second take and gave us something really special. I thought maybe it was just me, but I saw the guy next to me also wiping the tear from his eye. Someone asked Herb how he and Lani met and Herb asked, does anyone have any trouble with this? Eden shot back, “I do!” Herb told us all about turning “the former Rocco’s into a real jazz club that we now know as Vibrato, to create a place with the right environment that when you walked in it made you comfortable.” “I’m really proud of this place”. He also told us of using the same architect for A&M studios to help create the amazing sound here at Vibrato. It was a night of stories about classic A&M sound. “I wanted to create a place where all of the great jazz musicians of LA could come and play, they deserve it”. “I have a little sign up in the green room that tells the musicians who play here that you might see people talking but don’t let that bother you a lot of them come here for the food, don’t worry as the show goes on that jazz will wash over them and they will get into it and the applause will flow from them.” “Jazz is an American legacy that has to be supported.” “It’s about freedom, struggle and innovation. And what’s wrong with a that?” “So if you vote for me, “I’m running for Senator” - Herb Alpert, Jazz 101, checkmate. Again I ask, “Where is this man’s Kennedy Center Honor?”

BLACKBIRD & BERIMBAU – Herb’s set list marked this tune with a mute called (TRANCE)? As I pointed out earlier, this tune used to be paired with VIOLA but tonight we got to see the premier of its new combo platter with Berimbau. I’ve seen it live 4 times now and this easily was its best-inspired treatment tonight. Herb and Bill’s ending was inspired Sgt. Peppers physcedelia. Just killer. Lani was making it very emotional, especially after Pat’s George story earlier and the sad 30th anniversary of my favorite Beatle shortly next week and the fact that they are doing “Here Comes The Sun” also on the new CD. I remember my ELO “Out Of The Blue” 8 Track ending while I was doing my homework that night in December 1980 and I turned on the radio. But on a lighter note - just wait for the new CD! Berimbau is so much more atmospheric now.

TIL THERE WAS YOU – Some more crazy faux Hammond B3 work from Bill. I know those monsters are cantankerous, it’s too bad they can’t take a real Hammond B3 on tour. I’d love to hear Bill wail on a real Hammond B3.

I’VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN – Herb said doing Q&A afterwards, “Miles said, “You hear 3 notes and you know that it’s Herb Alpert, yeah but after 1 note you know it’s Miles!”

LAURA – Just smoking with LA cool last night. Bright and effervescent with new synth work from Bill.

ENCORE

JOBIM MEDLEY – AUGUA DE BEBER, CORCORVADO, TRISTE, ONE NOTE SAMBA/SPANISH FLEA – Herb: “Thanks for the warm welcome CBS appreciates it too”. Please, let us thank you Herb & Lani and your amazing band! Third standing o of the night. Boy did this crowd want more.

Special thanks to Eden Alpert and her staff and as always thanks to Steve Sidoruk
 

CherryStreet

Member
Thread Starter
Dave said:
X-celent Review, Cherry Street!!!!Dave

Thanks Dave, I really appeciate it.

I really try to do my best to be the "ears & eyes" for all you folks here who cannot make it to Vibrato.
:cool:
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
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the smile also comes when Herb realizes that I don’t have a bag of albums for him to sign
I think if I was a celebrity, I would limit my autograph to "one to a customer." People who bring a bag full of stuff to have signed are impolite (monopolizing the star at the expense of other fans) and/or just angling to get a stack of eBay moneymaking swag.

Excellent review. I would love to see Vibrato sometime.
 

Mr Bill

Gentlemanly Curmudgeon
Staff member
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Great Review, Cherry, St. You wouldn't happen to be a 'pro-writer' would you? :wink:

--Mr Bill
 

CherryStreet

Member
Thread Starter
Mr Bill said:
Great Review, Cherry, St. You wouldn't happen to be a 'pro-writer' would you? :wink:

Well I have been known to have earned some money in the past for writing for the stage, television and even radio. Still trying to crack those "bigger screens"
:cool:

Thanks for asking Mr. Bill
 

Mike

Active Member
Excellent review, CherryStreet, I enjoyed reading it from start to finish; made me feel like I was there with you.

Mike
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
Great read, Scott! :thumbsup: I'm looking forward to stopping at Vibrato on my next trip out to L.A. (in a few years).
 

Captain Bacardi

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Thanks for the in-depth report CS! I'm glad to hear that Pat Senatore is doing better. I see he's been playing with other artists at the Vibrato as well. I'd love to hear Herb & Lani's version of "Moondance". If I read your piece correctly that song will be on the new CD as well. Can't wait for it to come out!



Capt. Bacardi
 

Stephen Vakil

Well-Known Member
Thanks Scott - a great report. I really wish I was there!

Can't wait to hear the new album and see the band next year. :thumbsup:

Stephen
 

Mr Bill

Gentlemanly Curmudgeon
Staff member
Moderator
CherryStreet said:
Still trying to crack those "bigger screens"
:cool:

Thanks for asking Mr. Bill

You and me both, brother, you and me both! It's satisfying making documentarries for the government but it was exhausting beating around Hollyweird for 10 years and never breaking the "union circle."

--Mr Bill
 

jazzdre

Well-Known Member
Hey Cherry:
Great review! You are,uhh, shall we say a bit more expressive than the rest of us, given your use of such colorful phrases("bulls**t") and Pat's Beatles story about the "joint", but hey, it was all good! Loved your review of the concert, and your meeting with Tim Weisberg. He put out an album that I still have from 1989, that was a cross between new age and jazz, and it was a calm and peacefultape that I used to listen to to relax myself.

By the way, are YOU the guy who put up the TJB concert from '69 on youtube? In England?! Please put up the rest of it, because I am killing myself to see the other parts of the concert as well!

Thanks again for the concert review, and remember, put up the rest of the '69 English concert on youtube!! Thanks again, my friend!
Jazzdre
 

CherryStreet

Member
Thread Starter
jazzdre said:
Hey Cherry:
Great review! You are,uhh, shall we say a bit more expressive than the rest of us, given your use of such colorful phrases("bulls**t") and Pat's Beatles story about the "joint", but hey, it was all good!

Those were Tim & Pat's "words" and "story". And like I said, the BBC wanted to include Pat's Beatles story but the doc is only 60 minutes. Sounds like a lot of great stuff ended up on the cutting room floor or should I say on the AVID hard drive.

And no I didn't post the YouTube video. You might try to contact the person who posted it.
 
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