Herb & Lani - Philadelphia, 11/4

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Herb Alpert & Lani Hall performed their ANYTHING GOES tour show last evening at the excellent Zellerbach Theatre in the Annenberg Center on the Drexel University campus . Herb commented several times how good the theatre was - and it truly is a remarkable auditorium. One could hear a pin drop, and every sound the band made. At one point, Herb moved around behind Lani to Bill Cantos' side of the stage and played his solo to one of Lani's vocals, sans microphone. It sounded amazing and I'm sure it filled the theatre.

The set list - I didn't write it down - was similar but not identical to what was posted for an earlier show (Annapolis), so I'll use that as a guide and amend as I remember it.

1 - Fascinating Rhythm'
2 - Para Raio
3 - Besame Mucho
4 - Blackbird
5 - Let's Face The Music And Dance
6 - Berimbau
7 - It's Only A Paper Moon
8 - That Old Black Magic
9 - Viola Fora de Moda/Zanzibar
10 - Morning Coffee
11 - I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face
12 - Anything Goes
13 - Til There Was You
14 - O Pato
15 - I've Got You Under My Skin
16 - Laura
ENCORE - Antonio Carlos Jobim Medley
ENCORE - A Taste Of Honey
ENCORE - Like A Lover

If they substituted in another song or two, I don't remember, but there was no "Who Are You" or "Dinorah". The order might have varied a bit too. Highlights here were "Viola Fora de Moda/Zanzibar" with Bill Cantos handling the male vocal that Dori Caymmi sang on the BRASIL NATIVO album, and the two extra encores we got.

Herb came out for the second encore and said he was going to do "A Taste Of Honey", but not the same arrangement we were familiar with. It was more like the version on "Midnight Sun". As Lani was just seated during that song, I guess it was "fair" to have her do her own encore, and she thrilled with "Like A Lover".

In answer to some previous questions, the "Blackbird" arrangement is similar to the Bossa Rio recording at a slower tempo, more like the original Beatles track with a Latin-style backing, but all with the jazzy flair of these shows.

Herb was of course asked questions by the audience - the obvious one is "Where is the Tijuana Brass these days?" Herb's answer was rather depessing as he said "My drummer, Nick Ceroli, died." He further listed Lou Pagani and Tonni Kalash as having passed on and mentioned Bob Edmondson as being retired and no longer playing trombone. It hit kind of hard to this longtime fan. I knew all of the above, but when it was coming from the man himself it seemed to hit home a lot harder. I think Herb was somewhat emotional at that point and moved the show along.

Lani was asked a similar question about Brasil '66 songs and she replied that the two were looking forward, not backward with this tour and that there were a few Brazilian songs in the set.

Herb was asked about Chris Montez (living in Palm Springs I think he said) and he told the story of laying down a guide vocal for Chris to sing "Call Me" that tirned out to be a huge hit record.

Herb was also asked about Hugh Masekela. His reply was that Hugh was living in South Africa, and he recently saw him via an Internet hookup to celebrate the 70th birthday of Caiphus Semenya.

"Till There Was You" was an amusing performance as Lani led the audience in finger-snapping, while Michael Shapiro played percussion by beating on his chest.

The show was introduced to start about 15 minutes late. The theatre manager type who did the intro mentioned that due to the World Series and a sudden transit strike that they wanted to give people just a little more time to get to the theatre.

Herb said he was rooting for the Phillies to beat the Yankees, but that he wasn't happy that they'd beaten his Dodgers. When Herb asked the audience during the show if we wanted him to hurry up and finish so we could go watch the game, most gave a negative reply to indicate that we wanted more of the show.

Since the show took place in a standard auditorium setting, I didn't get a chance for a meet and greet afterward. Our seats were about six rows back, elevated perfectly to look straight into the eyes of Lani and company on stage.

There was small stand in the lobby selling T-shirts, tote bags and CDs before and after the show. There's no intermission.

All in all a fun evening and great show. I'm glad I went - I almost didn't. I've been a bit under the weather the past few days, staying home from work with headcold symptoms on Tuesday that turned into some stomach-distress on Wednesday. By last evening I felt well enough to make the trek into the city for the show.
All in all a fabulous evening.

Due to not feeling well, I just didn't feel like messing with the camera, so no pictures. See Steve's excellent pictures from Connecticut and pretend! (They've all aged exactly two more days. :wink: )

Oh yeah, I forgot to add:

Someone in the audience mentioned "Rise", and Herb told the story of booking time in the studio to "discofy" some old TJB songs and Andy Armer and Randy Badazz ultimately bringing in "Rise".

If some of you recall, there was an article published stating that Herb said the title was pronounced "Ree-sa" - it turns out that that was what Andy and Randy originally called it, named after a girlfriend's name.

Apparently, once Herb recorded it, it became the more commonly pronounced, "Ryze".

Great review. There's nothing like hearing a concert in a good sounding small theater setting. Even though I'm not really a jazz fan I'm sure I would enjoy their show just because of the spectacular sound.
Thanks Harry!!! For a VERY indepth report and for answering my questions!

Great job. They must of really liked the crowd and theatre. 2 Encores after the standard Jobim Medley Encore are a rare treat.

After having the pleasure of seeing the TJB Medley 4 times, I saw Herb
visably "emotional" almost "shell shocked" opening night at Vibrato after and before playing it. Your report just add to the story. Perhaps he now just finds it "too emotional" to play?
I was particularly thrilled to hear the track from BRASIL NATIVO, "Viola Fora de Moda/Zanzibar", as it was always a favorite on that somewhat under-exposed album.

[Moderator note:

Let's try to keep to the topic at hand. I've split off the bulk of the "scroll on by" posts to a new thread with that title in the SCOF Forum.
Missed the Phila show due to logistics and bummed (I was raised in Phila), but going to see them in NYC in Decmeber and looking quite forward to it.

As for Hugh Masekela, he's quite active, and with a new album, Phola. Had an interview on Charlie Rose recently; you can google it for the link. I just got Masekela's CD/DVD Almost Like Being in Jazz from 2005, and he has Midnight Sun on it. It's almost like a paen to to the version Mr Alpert did on Midnight Sun the album.

Caiphus Semenya is outright awesome. They need to do a compilation of his recordings. Masekela has recorded many good takes -- notably, Ziph'nkomo. But love those tracks from the "live" main Event recording with Alpert and Masekela.

And good for them for looking forward! It's how it should be. I would not be a bit upset if they did no "old" tracks or riffs - and in fact, would prefer that they do not do so. Much enjoyed their solo music anyhow; prefer it perhaps.
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