1. abstract_fan

    abstract_fan Active Member Thread Starter

    "New Orleans composer-pianist Allen Toussaint wrote “Whipped Cream” for Al Hirt. After the local trumpet star rejected it, Henry Hildebrand, A&M Records’ distributor in New Orleans, played the “Whipped Cream” demo over the phone for Alpert."

    Source: Herb Alpert – HERB ALPERT TALKS BACK WITH OFF BEAT MAGAZINE

    What if Al Hirt did NOT reject it?
     
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  2. Steve Sidoruk

    Steve Sidoruk Founder, A&M Fan Net Moderator

    We'll never know.
     
  3. Captaindave

    Captaindave Well-Known Member

    I think that Al Hirt could have recorded the song and maybe had a hit with it - maybe. Al was popular back then. Had Al Hirt recorded the song, my guess is that Herb Alpert would eventually have heard it.

    It is possible that Hildebrand might have played the song for Herb anyway, regardless of Al Hirt's decision.
     
  4. Captaindave

    Captaindave Well-Known Member

    However, timing is everything. If Herb hadn't recorded the song and released the album when he did....then who knows how different everything might have been.

    Like Steve says, we'll never know.
     
  5. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    US
    Al Hirt's arrangement would have been way different, had he done this in the New Orleans style he was known for. He was with RCA during the mid 60s however, and they were pushing him more towards the pop charts--his albums then had varied styles (think Latin In The Horn, which was a project with Lalo Schifrin).
     
  6. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    It's hard to imagine the impact it would've had on Herb's career. He probably would have still recorded "A Taste of Honey," which was a big hit, but what would the album have been called? Green Peppers and Other Delights?

    The cover would have definitely been quite different, that's for sure. And it might not have had the sales impact that it did thanks to that title.
     
  7. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    US
    He could have gone with Sauerkraut. :D

    upload_2018-11-24_23-13-47.png
     
  8. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I've seen this and I thought the parodies ended with the Soul Asylum " Clam dip and other delights" HAHA well this one really Beats them all.
     
  9. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    US
    It's kind of funny since I made up a batch of kielbasa and sauerkraut on Thanksgiving...then discovered this cover for the first time a day later. :laugh:

    I can tell you that one jar of sauerkraut has quite a smell to it. I can only imagine what this photo shoot was like! :D
     
  10. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    US
    And that leads to the the problem with the following album cover. Would Dave Lewis had to balance a green pepper on his head instead?

    upload_2018-11-25_22-57-23.png
     
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  11. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    You make a Great point that would have been a Way different thing
     
  12. Shane

    Shane Member

    I was curious if the people on this board are fans of Al Hirt's as well. He's obviously a great player, and I don't mean to bash him, but I'll throw in my two cents in here. I got a couple of his albums recently and I had trouble sitting through them. Herb has a tendency to do whatever is best for the song, and that's what I love about his playing. In contrast, it felt like Al Hirt was mostly there to show off his virtuosity, and it seemed to me he was overplaying his part on a pretty consistent basis.
     
  13. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    My mom was an Al Hirt fan - I remember we had one of his albums, Honey In The Horn, which featured the hit single "Java." I liked that song but have no memory of the rest of the album, even though it was a favorite of Mom's to play when she was housecleaning. So I don't know if that means anything, but that's just me.

    Thinking of "Java" today, it doesn't seem to have the timeless quality of Herb's best music. It seems more dated. Maybe that's because I've never really stopped listening to Herb over the years, but who knows?
     
  14. I don't know about "timeless", but I know that I've enjoyed listening to Al Hirt lately. 3 1/2 years ago, after devouring all the best TJB material, I greedily searched around for more such music. (Obviously, there's only one Herb Alpert, but could other instrumental music also be catchy and fun?) One of the first leads I found was when I happened to hear about Al Hirt, and I loved his rendition of "Java" (which I believe is the most popular version ever. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong). I went on to discover many more great songs of his. Is his music timeless, or does his music grow old after listening for a few years? Maybe 20 years from now I'll be qualified to answer that question, but for now, it's been fun listening.

    Now I'm trying to decide which Al Hirt song to single out as an example. Over 20 candidates spring to mind, but I can't expect you to listen to all of them, and people here seem familiar with "Java" already. Okay, how about this one?

     
  15. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    US
    "Java" is probably the most catchy of Al Hirt's hits, but that was right in the middle of his RCA era where he was stepping outside of his usual territory, which was New Orleans. Latin In The Horn is a nice album also, especially since it has Lalo Schifrin handling the arrangements vs. just choosing some music and throwing Latin percussion on it (which was all the rage back then as well). He was most at home with the music of New Orleans and the earlier RCA album Our Man in New Orleans lays it on in spades--it's a lot of fun and really gets that whole Dixieland spirit captured nicely. The only touch that is a little different was that they added Marty Paich's touch to it, so it is punctuated with some big-band touches. He might have stuck to one major style throughout his career for the most part, but that was his specialty. It's just a lot of fun to listen to!

    We really can't say one trumpet player is better than another here. Each has their own approach to the music. Herb has always been one to explore different sounds throughout the years, while Al Hirt's major strength was true to the spirit of New Orleans.

    And you couldn't find two trumpet players who had such vastly different styles of playing from a technical standpoint. Al Hirt's sound might seem a little "in your face," but that's just his approach to the trumpet--a lot of breath support which gives his trumpet a very full and "fat" sound to it that will project when needed (such as in the boisterous New Orleans style he specialized in, when it paid to have a sound that could stand out from the rest of the band when it was time to take his turn at the solo).

     
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  16. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I too Enjoy some of AL Hirt's New Orleans flavored Style my mother had a few of his albums " The Best of Al Hirt" and a later album called "Raw Sugar,Sweet Sauce, Banana Pudding ( I have the latter on a rare CD Reissue) and a promo type l.p. called Red white and blue "the high flying trumpet of AL Hirt " which was promoting United airlines it kind of reminds me of the A&M Music Box comp l.p. promoted by Bankamericard ( Sound Familiar?) I like when he would hit those High notes he did have a lot of lung power in his playing I also have several CDS of his other albums too
     
  17. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    US
    Playing like that is physically tiring! I know I'd done that from the woodwind side many times and it can leave one drained after a set...and then stretch it to two or three sets and you're like a wrung-out dish rag by the end of the evening. :D

    RCA had a sampler LP called Three Great Bands from the DynagrooVe era which featured four songs each from Mancini's big band, Al Hirt and Perez Prado. And neat thing is that these were all tunes that have not appeared on any other album.
     
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  18. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    The same is true for the "Red White and Blue" track it was tacked on with a previously released songs such as Hello Dolly. And others "The high flying trumpet" L.p. was pretty much an Al Hirt complilation with "Red White And Blue" as an exclusive Bonus track.
     
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  19. This was always one of my favorites...and the whole album is excellent, top to bottom. He spent a while trying to duplicate the success of Java with Cotton Candy, Sugar Lips, and Fancy Pants etc.
     
  20. Captaindave

    Captaindave Well-Known Member

    I have been a fan of both Herb Alpert and Al Hirt since the mid 1960s and have also been a trumpet player most of my life. I can recognize and appreciate what Al Hirt can do as a trumpet player - there are very few players who reach that level of skill and ability. I would say that I have been a much bigger fan of Herb Alpert in terms of listening preference, style, and sound. However, Al Hirt is definitely one of the all time greats.

    Al Hirt and Herb Alpert are very different....not at all comparable in any way.

    Al Hirt is an extremely accomplished trumpet "technician". He is one of the all time great players in terms of technical prowess on the horn. He is a master of the physical techniques involved in playing a trumpet. There probably isn't anything Al Hirt can't play from a technical point or view. Musical preferences are another matter.

    The thing to remember is that Al Hirt isn't Herb Alpert, and Herb Alpert isn't Al Hirt. Two totally different styles. Both are at the top of their respective musical worlds.

    I find it worthwhile to"change my listening ears" when listening to different players. I highly respect and admire Al Hirt's trumpet playing ability and like his music, but I would rather listen to Herb Alpert. I have all Herb's recordings with the Tijuana Brass, and a few of the solo albums. My collection of Al Hirt is much more limited, although it has nothing to do with him as a player or his musical ability. It comes down to what do I want to listen to at any given time.

    Both do what they do like no one else can do it. I listen to both, appreciate both on their individual merits, but in the end, prefer to listen to Herb Alpert. But, Al Hirt has recorded some great music and is one of the "all time great" trumpet players.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
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  21. Captaindave

    Captaindave Well-Known Member

    When I think of Al Hirt, I particularly like his renditions of "Begin the Beguine", "I Can't Get Started", and "Stranger In Paradise". On these, you can hear Al's total, virtuoso level control of the horn and his virtually unlimited ability to play anything. His power, tone, range, breath control, and technical execution are phenomenal.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
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  22. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    US
    I know it's not popular to say this, but I never felt Miles Davis was a very good technical player. In his bebop years, he could play a lot of notes fast. Anyone could. But once he got into the modal period and out of the bebop, his strength was more on feel, mood and emotion and maintaining the groove, vs. being a technical player. And that is part of my appeal when listening to Miles. And he could go from a quieter, more thoughtful album like Kind Of Blue to something like the rock-based Jack Johnson album...and make both styles work.

    On the flip side, I've always thought Wynton Marsalis was a good technical player, but lacked any soul. His records bore me...and I've tried and tried again with various recordings of his throughout the decades and never could get into them.

    Maynard Ferguson is another interesting player. It's not like he was the Best Soloist Ever (although he had no shortage of good solos, and knew how to work a crowd), but he was of course known to hit those stratospheric notes and be the lead in his trumpet sections, and could be counted on to "bring it on home" at the end of each tune. His strengths were also in education and giving younger players a place to display their skills, and in the arrangers he highlighted through his many bands throughout the decades. Kind of similar to how Stan Kenton was a perfectly good piano player, but it was the band and the arrangers whom he elevated to star status during their tenure with his bands.

    Plenty of colors in the trumpet player palette, I'm thinking... :wink:
     
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  23. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    This talk about trumpet players kinda makes me reassess my reasons for liking Herb Alpert's music.... I came to the realization that I don't really enjoy any other trumpet players! To be fair, I've probably not given the rest of them much of a chance, beyond a quick sample. But I never did like Doc Severinsen on the Tonight Show, for example. The only Miles Davis album I ever heard was Bitches Brew, which left me cold. As noted above, I found Al Hirt's album I heard forgettable. Maynard Ferguson, I liked his 'hit single' version of the Rocky theme back in the day, but his album didn't do anything for me either.

    So this makes me think that I probably appreciate Herb's music more for his arranging, his choice of tunes and instrumentation, and the overall sound/feel of the records, than for his trumpet playing. I never thought of it that way before. I guess I like "Herb Alpert music" more than I like "trumpet music" in general.
     
  24. Captaindave

    Captaindave Well-Known Member

    Yes, there certainly are plenty. I have always tried to listen and learn all I could.

    Another player who is less well known, but with wonderful tone, styling, and control on ballad style playing is Bobby Hackett.

    Bobby Hackett was a featured soloist on Jackie Gleason's "mood" music" recordings back in the 1950s. He has credits with a variety of other bands and musicians as a leader and a sideman. My ears just don't get tired of listening to him play and improvise on melodies. "Dream Awhile" is an excellent album from about 1960, as is "Bobby Hackett Plays the Music of Henry Mancini" from about 1963.

    Come to think of it, I guess I do like a lot of the instrumental music from the pre-Beatles era of the later 1950s and early 1960s. I was quite young at the time (elementary school age), but do have memories of the sounds of that era from what I heard growing up at home.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  25. Captaindave

    Captaindave Well-Known Member

    Yes, I understand this completely and agree. On one hand, I appreciate what technical skill some of these players have, but for me, it can get boring quickly.

    I think that many trumpet players sometimes seem to play mainly for other trumpet players. Many of those people want to hear what I often call "higher, faster, and louder", which often, in my opinion, comes at the expense of the more musical and listenable aspects of music. I sometimes call it trumpet "athleticism" rather than trumpet "playing".

    So, of all the trumpet players I have heard over a period of about 55 years or so, I'll still prefer Herb Alpert ahead of all the rest all the time. And it's not just him as a trumpet player...it's his choice of songs and the sound and style he created, and how it all gets put together.
     
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