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Herb Solo preferences

Discussion in 'The Beat of The Brass: Herb Alpert/Tijuana Brass' started by abstract_fan, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. abstract_fan

    abstract_fan Active Member Thread Starter

    And now, if you're up for it, how about the differences between the Tijuana Brass (Lonely Bull - Summertime) vs. the TJB (You Smile/Coney Island) vs. Herb Alpert Tijuana Brass (Bullish)

    I loved Herb playing all trumpet parts as on the Tijuana Brass recordings.

    As for TJB, Bob Findley, very good player, not my taste. And Herb's sound on the TJB, his articulation and tone is all his at some of his best.
    Bobberman likes this.
  2. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Here is my personal take on it the First Tijuana brass period Lonely Bull to summertime was a variety of sounds Beginning with Latin Flavored instrumentals for the first few albums by whipped cream onwards the sound had fully developed into what i would call a Pop/jazz Hybrid as for the second TJB incarnation from 74-75 Herb was moving more into jazz while still retaining his unique sound and was stretching out more. And then 9 years later for the Bullish tour ( remember none of the TJB members appeared on it as it was a Herb Solo effort) only 4 of the original members were in it and the rest were leftovers from the 70s Tjb and a couple new musicians but the bullish album was pretty much a continuation of the R&B/ Jazz styles he started with Rise just a few years before and the 1984 Tjb was primarily organized for the Los angeles olympics festivities and a brief tour followed. So that is my take on the TJB through the Years. Just my opinions and obsevations.
    toeknee4bz likes this.
  3. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I do wish he would have put a band together to record the Bullish album, especially since it said "Tijuana Brass" on the cover. The title track definitely has a TJB feel to it due to the harmony trumpets. Besides that, though, I think the songs on that album sound very dated today, moreso than most of his other solo albums, due to the extensive use of synths and drum machines.
    Bobberman likes this.
  4. Steve Sidoruk

    Steve Sidoruk Founder, A&M Fan Net Moderator

    You might want to edit your Bullish sentences. I surely know what the facts are, but to someone who doesn't, it is confusing. :confused:
  5. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Ok since the time for editing has expired and im unable to edit my previous sentences please allow me to try to clarify for those who might be confused .In 1984 almost a decade after coney island Herb released the bullish album crediting as artist Herb Alpert/Tijuana Brass. Which had a mix of pop.Jazz and R&B although the original members didnt appear on it the sound of the TJB had evolved further by that point and Herb always said The Tijuana Brass was more of a Sound rather than an actual group. My apologies for the confusion this is what i should have posted rather than the sloppy careless sentences i posted. I hope this helps somewhat.
  6. abstract_fan

    abstract_fan Active Member Thread Starter

    I'm wondering if there also could be a generational thing going on between the 3 permutations. As it is playing out perhaps on his reissue campaign where some may prefer the American Songbook CDs, vs. the Hugh Masakela CDs. etc. Many because I'm an old man (62 years old, ha!) the Tijuana Brass albums are just so special. Perhaps someone out there likes the "Bullish" version best.
    Bobberman likes this.
  7. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    I don't know if it's generational or not, but I know I've pretty much rolled with everything Herb's done over the years. I think all of us would have been bored if he'd done follow-ups to Whipped Cream for his entire career. I guess when I was younger, too, I just sort of accepted the music as it was, not really caring who played on it (or which songs were on it)--it was just a matter of my liking something or not. I know Bullish isn't really a "Tijuana Brass" album other than by name, but given its place in his solo catalog, it fit into the progression of the albums that surrounded it. (In fact, I consider it the high point between Blow Your Own Horn and Wild Romance.) I remember playing the album heavily when it came out. And my own musical adventures were changing along the way as well.

    I'm actually more worried at this point if my Bullish t-shirt got lost in one of my moves over the past decade. :laugh:
    abstract_fan and Bobberman like this.
  8. I'm sure no one will agree with me on this, but I consider Bullish the highest point between Rise and the present day.
    Bobberman likes this.
  9. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    You are not Alone Aaron i for one agree
  10. If I had to pick my favorite between RISE and today, it would probably be FANDANGO, with honorable mention to NOCHE DE AMOR and KEEP YOUR EYE ON ME.
    Bobberman likes this.
  11. Wow.

    And yeah, Fandango is my second favorite.
    Bobberman likes this.
  12. I always felt disappointed in BULLISH, as it promised "Tijuana Brass" but continued to deliver Herb's solo style. FANDANGO seemed more like "Tijuana Brass" to me with its Latin flavor.
    toeknee4bz, Charles H. and Bobberman like this.
  13. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    I really can't pick an overwhelming favorite from that era--they each came at different points in relation to what else I was listening to at the time. There were some I favored more than others, and even now if I am in the mood to listen to a particular style, I might prefer one Herb album over another. Each one has a highlight for me, but I've found that I favored these albums the most over the years.

    Being an early fan of Prince, The Time, and the Minneapolis scene (not to mention the rabid following we had in this area), Keep Your Eye On Me was a big favorite here with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis producing. Not only that, one track from this album was sort of reminiscent of the Miles Davis Tutu album that I played to death (and is spinning now, in fact...and it made me wonder at the time what a pairing of Herb and Marcus Miller would have amounted to).

    Rise was also a hit for me due to it being an offshoot from the funk and R&B I was listening to heavily at the time. Beyond was also caught up in that same excitement since I was hoping the title track would pull off another #1 single. (It at least made a Top 40 appearance!)

    Bullish was musically just a good album overall for me. The only track that didn't do it for me was "Maniac," due to being partial to Michael Sembello's own version. The album had some rhythm to it but still had a smoothness that kept it on an even keel, and had some memorable tunes on it as well. Didn't matter one bit what the cover said--it was the music that counted. :wink:

    Both the stellar albums Fandango and Passion Dance came at the Latin music from a different angle. The former was musically all about mid 80s contemporary music in Mexico and very well may be my top Herb favorite over all these years. The latter was salsa, but salsa done on Herb's terms--it had the rhythms and the attitude, but I feel it was more lyrical and warm than what one might find among the more hard-core salsa artists and bands.

    My Abstract Heart was another I played heavily--it was the closest Herb would come to featuring a big band on his recordings, without being technically a "big band" album. Huge input in that department from another favorite of mine (and long-time associate of Herb's): Shorty Rogers.

    And of course, the two Herb/Hugh albums tapped into something completely different that I have always been drawn to. (And I think my inner teenaged self at the time applauded the move into the type of music that wouldn't get me ridiculed for listening to in school. :laugh: )
    Bobberman likes this.
  14. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    On second thought im really torn between the late 70s up to Bullish as far as being the high point but i would put Fandango on my high point list too as it has more of a TJB vibe than Bullish in my opinion they are all Gems Where Rise Helped Herb ( in his own words) "Get His foot back into door". Or something to that effect and each album up to KYEOM. was another step forward . And it was only 8 years after Rise when Herb Had Another Big Hit with "Diamonds".
    Rudy likes this.
  15. Those are my feelings exactly. If pretending that the words "Tijuana Brass" aren't on the cover would make you enjoy an album more, just do it!

    I remember listening to the Rise album as a child, reflecting that I would enjoy it as long as I pretended that this was a different Herb Alpert. So I did precisely that.

    (By the way, am I the only one who, glancing at the title of this thread, keeps getting an impression of Han Solo preferences? "Bring 'em on! I prefer a straight fight to all this sneaking around.")
    Bobberman and Rudy like this.
  16. David S

    David S Active Member

    Call me an outlier, but I like Bullish. Maybe not the best "record" overall. But, I love the tracks Love Without Words, Life Is My Song, and with Make A Wish an honorable mention. As to ranking Mr Alpert's solo canon, my top five sequence would be Rise, Fandango, Steppin' Out though Second Wind is close behind. However, of course, I like specific tracks on each record - I could definitely make my own preferences "record".

    • Rise: Rise, Aranjuez, Street Life
    • Beyond: Interlude (for Erica)
    • Magic Man: Manhattan Melody, Besame Mucho
    • Blow Your Own Horn: Paradise Cafe'. Noche de Amor (from non US version)
    • Bullish: Love Without Words, Life Is My Song
    • Fandango: Route 1o1, Latin Medley
    • Wild Romance: No Time For Time
    • Keep Your Eye on Me: Cat Man Do, Stranger on the Shore
    • Under A Spanish Moon: Fragile, I Need You
    • My Abstract Heart: Romance Dance
    • North on South Street: I Can't Stop Thinking About You
    • Midnight Sun: All The Things You Are
    • Second Wind: Can't Stop Thinking About You
    • Colors: Lady In My Life
    • Passion Dance: Until We Meet Again
    • Anything Goes: Besame Mucho, Laura
    • I Need You: Clube Esquina
    • Steppin' Out: Migration, Good Morning Mr Sunshine
    • In The Mood: Amy's Tune, Zoo Train
    • Come Fly With Me Love Affair
    • Human Nature: Don't Go Breaking My Heart, Mystery Man

    Add in also Chasing Shadows and Winter Wonderland (from Jazz to the World)

    I will note that I was never much for Midnight Sun but the recently released remaster has helped me to appreciate it much more.
  17. I agree with all of the sentiments that there is much to love on virtually all Herb Alpert recordings, and my quick answer above regarding FANDANGO and a couple of others was a short cellphone reply that was in response to the notion that BULLISH was a high point. And that's a fair asseessment - I did not intend to dismiss the album totally. I always DID have a slight feeling of letdown regarding it, just based on the "Tijuana Brass" nomenclature.

    Actually, as it turns out, I own more different iterations of BULLISH than most others:


    That't the original LP, the CD, the cassette(!), and the LP of the Spanish title BRAVIO. I was never one to buy cassettes, so I can only assume that it was picked up from a throwaway pile at the radio station.

    Contrary to others, I like "Maniac". Having Lani singing lead is a real bonus as the song cooks. I basically like much of the album, though it doesn't quite measure up to my love for FANDANGO.
    toeknee4bz and Bobberman like this.
  18. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I share in your sentiment for Bullish even though i only had access to the vinyl version and had a couple copies of it ( one remained unsealed for years until i wore out my first copy ) and when i opened it it was for making Needledrop Cds since the CD Version was long out of print and unavailiable to me i have 3 CD needledrops of my Vintage lp and they are Clean sounding and no clicks. Pops or ticks or other noise. Now if a remastered Cd becomes availible one day I Will buy that to complete the true digital side of my Herb Alpert set.
  19. abstract_fan

    abstract_fan Active Member Thread Starter

    He did put a touring band together after Bullish (i.e., they played Bullish, and Make A Wish and maybe others at the concert.

    I saw them at Jones Beach in New York. He had Bob Findley and another trumpet player, forgot is name (3 total). I took a picture. Who do I send it to for posting?
  20. Was it Ken Kaplan?
  21. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I remember hearing about that band. There was a short article about that tour in Billboard about how the show had done very well on various points of the tour, but then it said "The same show died in Vegas." (or perhaps it was Tahoe.) Never understood why a Herb show would have "died" but who knows, maybe the promoter was bad.
  22. abstract_fan

    abstract_fan Active Member Thread Starter

    That's it. Picture forthcoming.
  23. Captain Bacardi

    Captain Bacardi Well-Known Member Moderator

    The BULLISH touring group was:

    Herb Alpert, Bob Findley, Ken Kaplan - Trumpets, Flugelhorn
    Bob Edmondson - Trombone
    Nick Ceroli - Drums
    John Pisano and Jimmy Imperial - Guitars
    Julius Wechter - marimba and percussion
    John Patittucci - Bass
    Sal Macaluso - Keyboards
    Lani Hall - vocals

    I remember them playing "Bullish", "Make A Wish" and "Struttin' On Five" from the Bullish album.
    Bobberman likes this.
  24. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    That would have been wonderful to see.a mix of past Tjb members along with a few newbies. Unfortunately i only heard of their touring back in 84 and at that time being only 17 all i could do is cheer them on from a distance.while listening to my Bullish Lp
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
  25. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    I think the tour came to our area, but we never heard about it! If that isn't poor promotion... :shake: Yet the orchestral tour for Spanish Moon was one I heard about and was able to attend.

    I had Bullish on CD since the week it came out, and only over the past decade did I find a sealed vinyl copy of it at a local store. It's a pretty good sounding cut, actually.

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