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Official Review HUMAN NATURE - Reviews and Comments

Discussion in 'The Beat of The Brass: Herb Alpert/Tijuana Brass' started by Captain Bacardi, Oct 4, 2016.

What Are Your Favorite Songs On This Album?

  1. Human Nature

  2. Shake It

  3. Alfie

  4. Thalia

  5. Look Up Again

  6. Incognito

  7. Don't Go Breaking My Heart

  8. Mystery Man

  9. Doodles

  10. All Of 'Em!

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Captain Bacardi

    Captain Bacardi Well-Known Member Moderator Thread Starter

    Herb Alpert
    Herb Alpert Presents HRB 153

    Executive Produced by Herb Alpert with Michael Shapiro

    1. Human Nature (Steven M. Porcaro/John Bettis) - 3:05
    Arranged and Produced by Herb Alpert & Michael Shapiro​
    2. Shake It (Herb Alpert/Eddie del Barrio) - 3:34
    Arranged and Produced by Herb Alpert & Eddie del Barrio​
    3. Alfie (Burt Bacharach/Hal David) - 3:12
    Produced by Herb Alpert & Bill Cantos/Arranged by Bill Cantos​
    4. Thalia (Herb Alpert/Eddie del Barrio) - 3:16
    Arranged and Produced by Herb Alpert & Eddie del Barrio​
    5. Look Up Again (Burt Bacharach/Elvis Costello) - 4:06
    Produced by Herb Alpert & Bill Cantos/Arranged by Bill Cantos​
    6. Incognito (Herb Alpert/Eddie del Barrio) - 3:59
    Arranged and Produced by Herb Alpert & Eddie del Barrio​
    7. Don't Go Breaking My Heart (Burt Bacharach/Hal David) - 2:46
    Produced by Herb Alpert & Bill Cantos/Arranged by Bill Cantos​
    8. Mystery Man (Herb Alpert/Hussain Jiffry/Greg Manning) - 3:46
    Arranged and Produced by Herb Alpert & Hussain Jiffry​
    9. Doodles (Herb Alpert/Eddie del Barrio) - 3:21
    Arranged & Produced by Herb Alpert & Eddie del Barrio
    Herb Alpert - All Trumpets & Additional Keyboards
    Michael Shapiro - Drums & Percussion
    Hussain Jiffry - Fretted, Fretless Basses, Additional Keyboards (1)
    Bill Cantos - Keyboards, Computer Grooves, Strings & Vocals
    Eduardo del Barrio - Keyboards, Computer Grooves & Strings
    Andre De Santanna - Bass (1, 2, 6)
    Michael Lehmann Boddicker - Synthesizer Intro (1)
    Jamieson Trotter - Hammond C-3 (1)
    Cris Games - Turntable & Samples (1)
    Greg Manning - Keyboards (8 )
    Lani Hall - Vocals (3, 7)

    Vocals on "Human Nature" - Herb Alpert, Lani Hall, Bill Cantos, Hussain Jiffry & Michael Shapiro

    Tracks 1, 2, 6 & 7 Mixed by Andre De Santanna
    Tracks 5 & 8 Mixed by Hussain Jiffry
    Tracks 3 & 4 Mixed by Herb Alpert

    Mastered by Bernie Grundman @ Grundman Mastering
    Art Direction/Design - Brian Porizek
    Front & Back Cover Photos - Gerry Wersh
    Inside Photos - Dewey Nicks
    Marketing & Creative Energy @ Croshal Entertainment - Fred Croshal & Jimmy Brunetti

    Capt. Bacardi
    Bobberman likes this.
  2. toeknee4bz

    toeknee4bz Well-Known Member

    Ok, I picked "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" for the simple reason that it's new arrangement (while not that much different to the TJB SRO version) has that slightly funky, yet easy going rhythm that I just can't get out of my head. Don't ask me why. It just sticks in my head like glue, despite the fact that I've heard the old version (and still love the old version) for 30+ years or more. "Human Nature" is my second favorite, due to the electronica arrangement with echoed trumpet which is undeniably classic Herb. Lots of gems here, the only one I have a hard time warming up to is "Thalia"... not unbearable, but not my cup of tea. But then again, it may grow on me as well in time.

    All in all, yet another great collection of work from my all-time favorite recording artist. And I couldn't be happier.
  3. toeknee4bz

    toeknee4bz Well-Known Member

  4. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    Although I haven't heard this version yet, I've liked any version I've heard of this song. :thumbsup:
    toeknee4bz likes this.
  5. martin

    martin Active Member

    Like with all Herb's most recent albums, I like this very much. It blends well with all the TJB reissues, as this is in a way more of a return to the "Tijuana Brass" idea than the somewhat more jazz influenced albums. "Doodles" has that fun, tongue in cheek approach that you would often find on the TJB albums. Also, the mix of originals and covers of basically pop songs points in the same direction. I am also impressed with his playing.

    - greetings from the north -
    toeknee4bz likes this.
  6. Captain Bacardi

    Captain Bacardi Well-Known Member Moderator Thread Starter

    A 4-star review from All Music Guide:

    Legendary pop and jazz icon Herb Alpert continues his prolific career run with his 2016 studio album,Human Nature. The album follows up his well-received 2014 effort, In the Mood, and picks up on that album's mix of electronic pop and Latin-inflected, dance-oriented grooves. In his eighties at the time of recording, he has aged into a soulful, lyrical musician able to bridge the light pop stylings of his youth with more introspective choices. Human Nature finds him completely engaged, continuing to explore new sounds and songs. Joining Alpert here are several longtime collaborators in producer/percussionist Michael Shapiro, producer/arranger/keyboardist Eduardo Del Barrio, bassist/guitarist Hussain Jiffry, keyboardist/arranger/producer Bill Cantos, and others. As with Alpert's other albums since coming out of a ten-year hiatus in 2009, Human Nature finds the trumpeter applying his distinctively sweet-toned sound to a nicely balanced combination of beloved pop standards, unexpected covers, and originals. Sometimes, as on the title track, an inspired Brazilian Mardi Gras-infused reworking of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature," Alpert goes for an inventive cross-genre angle. Other times, as on his lush, romantic reading of the Burt Bacharach/Elvis Costello-ballad "Look Up Again," he takes a more straightforward approach, framing his yearning Miles Davis-esque lines with reverb-soaked piano and shimmering orchestral strings. Alpert even draws upon his iconic Tijuana Brass double-tracked trumpet sound for a bright, electro-Latin take on the Burt Bacharach/Hal David classic "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," which also features vocals from his wife, muse, and frequent collaborator Lani Hall. Elsewhere, Alpert strikes a similarly pleasant, cross-genre stance with his originals, like the disco-salsa "Shake It" and the sophisticated, cocktail hour-ready Latin jazz of "Mystery Man." Ultimately, Human Nature is a warmly produced album by an artist who has seen and done it all, and yet still finds magic and mystery in the process.
    toeknee4bz, DeeInKY and martin like this.
  7. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I've listened to it once (was out of town all weekend, so I had to wait till tonight) and I'm liking a lot of it. I'm not as fond of "Thalia" or "Incognito" yet but we'll see what happens with repeated listens.

    To me the three Bacharach tunes are the highlights. "Look Up Again" is a song I've never heard before but you can easily tell it's one of those distinctive, beautiful Bacharach melodies. I'm sure that's our friend Bill Cantos on the piano on this tune, but it's definitely got that Bacharach influence in the arrangement. I have a feeling this tune might eventually be my long-term favorite on the album, as much as I enjoy a great Bacharach melody any day of the week. "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" takes a big departure from the TJB sound and comes up a winner with terrific key changes and unexpected turns. "Alfie" might take a bit more getting used to, with its heavy-echoed trumpet, but Lani's vocals coming in out of nowhere were a nice surprise. I've heard the instrumental version by Burt Bacharach so many times I'm not sure if I'll ever warm up to another version but we'll see.

    All this Bacharach talk begs the question: Why haven't Herb and Burt done a full-on collaboration? I would love to hear that!

    Of the originals I think I like "Doodles" and "Shake It" the best. "Doodles" has that TJB vibe going on. "Shake It" is less poppy and more jazzy. I really like "Human Nature" with the vocal touches too. I mighjt change my mind on some of these when I've heard it more.

    Overall, another solid set from Herb. I like the package too.
    Rudy and martin like this.
  8. Captain Bacardi

    Captain Bacardi Well-Known Member Moderator Thread Starter

    I've given this album a good dozen listens by now. "Human Nature" has a bit of a march/samba feel to it. "Shake It" is a cool tune and I it reminds me a bit of a modern TJB sound, somewhat similar to the Bullish album. It has a great groove to it. "Alfie" is done pretty much straight. Nice vocals by Lani. "Thalia" is the most intriguing song, composition wise. It's in 5. Love the opening voices to it. Almost has a Manhattan Transfer quality on the voices. This is easily my favorite song. "Look Up Again" is a waltz, and reminds me of Bacharach's "She's Gone Away" in a way. It's a gorgeous song and I'm surprised no one else has recorded it. Beautiful horn work by Herb. My second favorite tune. "Incognito" is a quirky little tune. It's like the melody never starts on 1 but on 2. Nice work by the rhythm section. "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" is another favorite. I've always loved this tune, both the TJB version and Bacharach's version on the Look Of Love box set are great as well. Another good groove for this melody. "Mystery Man" comes the closest to an actual jazz tune. Love the melody on this one. Another fave! And finally there's "Doodles", which frankly doesn't do much for me. The melody is a bit hokey for my liking, although the groove is pretty good.

    This is clearly more of a pop album than the light jazz albums he's put out the past couple of years. Short, sweet and to the point. But hey, the man's still got it. How many 81 year-olds can make this kind of music?
    Bobberman, toeknee4bz and Rudy like this.
  9. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    Yeah, Manhattan Transfer! I kept thinking those voices had a familiar quality and I just couldn't put my finger on it!
  10. David S

    David S Active Member

    Have played this new record (I bought the CD and burned for myself for my digital player) fairly frequently since release. The last three tunes are the best IMHO, with Don't Go Breaking My Heart and Mystery Man the best of those three. As I have said before, Doodles reminds me of Fun House from My Abstract Heart. Probably coincidental. Maybe he should think about splicing them together for his live perfs. The rest of the new record doesn't really appeal much to me.

    Having said that, isn't it just sweet to see a guy 81 years young still making good music, with, apparently, another holiday record coming down the road? Salute!

    (ps - RIP Tim Hauser. Saw the Transfer several times live in my hometown of Philadelphia and in the DC area. Sweet harmonies. Might have to spin some of their stuff up now...)
    Bobberman likes this.
  11. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I finally got my copy today ( i had to wait a month before i could afford it after the buying spree on the reissues) i voted for all of them and the standouts for me are Human nature. Alfie. Don't go breaking my heart ( Excellent Remake) Mystery Man.and Doodles. This is another Excellent one from Herb. Lani as always Shines on her vocals. And Herb Is Still playing At his Very best. If i could give this 10 stars i would. I think if Michael jackson were alive today got to hear Herb's version of Human Nature He Would have liked it. Just my opinion.
    toeknee4bz likes this.

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