Hypothetical

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.
Yeah, Herb Alpert is my favorite musician alive, but I was never a fan of the trumpet. Had Alpert played comparable music on the trombone, the saxophone, the clarinet, or the flute, I think I would have liked it just as much. I just feel that with the TJB (and - to a lesser extent - in his "Rise" era) HA somehow hit upon the right sound, not only with the trumpet but with the backing instruments as well. Of course, some of the musicians with whom he worked deserve some of the credit too.
 
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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".
Yeah, that's something else I like about the TJB. I think there was a lot of good instrumental music in the 1950s and '60s, but around 1970, instrumental music like that seemed largely to die out (in the U.S. anyway). After that, instrumental music became more like the players were saying "Listen to this solo! Aren't I talented?" So you get these long, boring solos and overly fancy variations. Yeah, I'm sure that music is difficult to perform. It's all very impressive. But oftentimes, I just want to HEAR THE DARN SONG! I feel music in general ought to focus on the piece, not on the performer.
 

Rudy

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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.
Those probably aren't the best entry points there. :D

With Miles, there are plenty of better places to start--BB was kind of off-the-wall in its day, even though it was groundbreaking. That is probably the last Miles album I would ever recommend someone getting into! (Not unless heavy medication were involved...then it might make sense! :D ) To me it feels experimental, plus, Teo Macero (producer) did a lot of editing to create what is there. Some think Kind Of Blue is overrated, but there's a reason so many like it even after dozens or hundreds of listens--it's just "special" in its own way and really has no peer. Some who really liked that era of Miles probably hate the Warner albums like Tutu and Amandla, but those are also different in their own way...and I happen to like those just as much. (And Herb kind of copied Miles' Tutu sound on the 4th track of Keep Your Eye On Me.) But no, his music isn't for everyone either. He has also explored many styles--bebop, modal jazz, fusion, funk, rock, and even had his own "pop music" type of album with You're Under Arrest and the more synth-based Warner era records, including Doo-Bop which was a posthumous album setting existing recorded solos onto a hip-hop background (which is kind of fun in its own way but again, not essential listening).

Maynard's best bands were without a doubt from his Roulette era--his Columbia-era music was wildly all over the map. The more pop-oriented albums are rather interchangeable and not all that essential (while at the same time, shooting for a charting hit), while the MF Horn series was more in line with what he did on Roulette. His pop albums on Columbia were a bit too slickly produced at times. Although I always seemed to find one track on those albums I could relate to. Thing is, someone has to be into modern big band music to appreciate Maynard, as it's just as much the band you're listening to as you are to Maynard.

I never was big into Doc's music myself--he had the talent, but the arrangements the bands played just didn't grab my attention.
 

Harry

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I'm in complete agreement with Mike B. It's Herb's music, his style, that grabs me. Other trumpet players tend to leave me cold.
 

Rudy

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I've sort of been on a wind instrument break in recent years, I realized. The trumpet doesn't bother me so much, and I don't mind a well-played flute, but up until lately, saxophones just grated on me (although I've always had a hate/hate relationship with the wretched soprano sax--it's as gnarly to listen to as it is to play properly, and few of the hacks today can play it properly). So along those lines, it's been a lot of piano and guitar based music, and acoustic "chamber" jazz like you find on the ECM Records label. And classical. (At least most symphonies don't use saxes. :D ) I have been poking around the catalogs of Ike Quebec and Stanley Turrentine in recent months, but overall I listen to fewer wind instruments. It's just another phase I'll go through, I'm sure.
 

bob knack

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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.
If you want to hear a great album get Coast Concert by Hackett.
 

Rudy

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Other trumpet players tend to leave me cold.
I'm the opposite, now that I think about it. Having heard Herb from a young age meant I was more interested in other trumpet players. One of the earliest I recall was Billy Regis on the monster Perez Prado hit "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White." There were other unnamed players on records we had around the house. Naturally when we had to pick an instrument in school, I thought about the trumpet, but then my logic set in and I figured it must have been confusing to get an entire scale of notes out of three valves! :laugh: Playing big band music starting in high school, though, meant we had access to a lot of music that was originally played by bands that featured a "star" trumpet player like Maynard Ferguson (and we played a few of his charts, which were the most popular at the time). Lots of good memories there. I still listen to many of those, and also have picked up more recent discoveries like Shorty Rogers, Mike Metheny, etc.
 

Captaindave

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Somewhere back around 1966 or 1967, I first heard the song "Wonderland By Night" by the Bert Kaempfert Orchestra, and featuring a trumpet player named Charly Tabor. I never knew he identity of the trumpet player on the solo on that song until I was able to find some information on the Internet. The playing on this song is a great example of how a trumpet can be played in a very smooth, musical, flowing legato style. Marvelous tone and control.

I think it is actually just as challenging to play a trumpet well with that kind of style, sound, and control as it might be to play in the "higher, faster, louder" style of some of the others that have been mentioned.
 

Harry

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I do love a lot of Bert Kaempfert music, but it's not the trumpet that draws me in.
 

Captaindave

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Yes, it is the songs and the melodies that always matter.

Having been a trumpet player since 1962 when I started in the school band in the 6th grade, I am, and have always been drawn to the instrument. And it is the style and sound of Herb Alpert that has made all the difference to me as a player myself. Were it not for him, I might have lost interest a long time ago, and maybe played some other instrument. If I were to choose another wind instrument, it would most likely be trombone.
 

Rudy

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I'm on the woodwind side of things. Although in school, anyone who's not a female who was caught playing a flute would have been wedged into the bike racks after school. :D (Thankfully I took that up later in life!)
 

Bobberman

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I do love a lot of Bert Kaempfert music, but it's not the trumpet that draws me in.
Same here I like the occasional big band style that Kaempfert does adding occasional rock and jazz beats He was truly one of the great instrumentalists of all time
 
:laugh:

Actually, my woodwind tutor grew up playing flute, and he said he had to man up and take on a few of the bullies after school a few times. And it didn't take much to shut 'em down, apparently. :wink:
Okay, I'm getting WAY off topic here, but then, we already have. I hesitated to post this story yesterday, because it's 2 1/2 centuries old, so some might think it irrelevant. Also, I'm not bothering to check my facts, but I have doubts anyone will find it interesting enough to care about my veracity anyway.

But the story I dimly remember was that King Frederick William I of Prussia was forcing his son, Frederick II, to study and train to succeed him. Frederick II protested "I don't want to be king!"

"Too bad," replied King Frederick. "Your brothers aren't smart enough for the job."

"But I don't even care about war or politics. I want to study philosophy and music. I love the flute!"

King Frederick exploded. "Those are sissy-girl things! You have to stop wasting your time with that nonsense and learn to be a man!" King Frederick would often beat Frederick II in an effort to put some spine into him.

So Frederick II continued to study the flute in secret. He and his flute teacher, Johann Joachim Quantz, would find a discreet place to conduct their lessons. If they heard someone coming, Quantz would hide in a closet. One day, they got caught. A furious King Frederick forced Frederick II to wear a dress and parade around the castle in that costume, in an effort to shame him into quitting.

(I'm tempted, at this point, to add another chapter in Frederick II's life, which would REALLY demonstrate his desire to be a musician and not a king, and just how far his father went to try to stifle it. But that story gets VERY nasty, and would ruin the lighthearted tone of this thread, so I'll skip it.)

Eventually, Frederick II developed a taste for war and politics. Upon becoming king himself, he led Prussia to conquer a lot of land, which is why he became known as Frederick the Great. But he never lost his love for music, becoming an accomplished flute-player, and not only hiring many musicians to compose a lot of flute music, but even composing his own. He wrote over 100 flute sonatas, 4 symphonies, and - I think - at least 4 flute concerti. Even in his symphonies, the flutes are prominent. Many times, I've enjoyed listening to the first movement of his Symphony in D.
 

DeeInKY

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I'm on the woodwind side of things. Although in school, anyone who's not a female who was caught playing a flute would have been wedged into the bike racks after school. :D (Thankfully I took that up later in life!)
Or shoved into a locker...:D
 

DeeInKY

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I got into listening to Herb when I was in grade school and wanted desperately to be in the band. Unfortunately we never had the money for band which left me trying to play my grandparents’ old upright piano by ear and now working on learning clarinet. It was always about the melody and the way the sound made me feel. There really was a lot of great instrumental music in the 50s and 60s. I like lots of types of music but have never cared to listen to some of these folks who sound like they’re trying to blow out a lung.
 

Mike Blakesley

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I probably revealed myself as a Herb Alpert fan in 1971 or 1972, during a speech class in high school. We were supposed to do a three-minute "sales" speech, so I took a portable 8-track player from the store and sold that. For my demo, I used Herb's "A-Me-Ri-Ca." If I had it to do over again, I might've used "Walk, Don't Run" or maybe something like "Slick."
 
Al Hirt's remake of Glen Campbell "Wichita Lineman" is one of my favorites. Matt Clark Sanford, MI
Wow. I've heard "Wichita Lineman" covered by Johnny Harris, and by Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66. Those versions didn't grab me at the time. Because of your post, I gave Al Hirt's performance a try. It had some nice harmonies that got me hooked. And now I'm warming up to Johnny Harris' version as well.
 

Bobberman

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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.
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I agree I love Hackett's version of " You Stepped out of a Dream" and I heard a few other songs he covered he does great at Ballads
 

abstract_fan

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So anyway, I started the thread given the hypothetical of what would happen if Al Hirt didn't reject the song Whipped Cream. Some of my thoughts would be maybe: no iconic album cover; also, since the album might then not have been about food, maybe no "A Taste of Honey," no Grammy award etc. I know we'll never know; like when people say what if Bobby Kennedy was not assassinated.

But, if you would like to chime in on another hypothetical: Herb said if Rise was not successful, there would be no follow-up: So that is hypothetical #2 to me: What might Herb have done; skip to Fandango/Bullish type music, or North on South Street? Given his love of jazz, this hypothetical is almost unthinkable.

Finally, If these aren't fun, that's OK, I'll stop.
 

Bobberman

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So anyway, I started the thread given the hypothetical of what would happen if Al Hirt didn't reject the song Whipped Cream. Some of my thoughts would be maybe: no iconic album cover; also, since the album might then not have been about food, maybe no "A Taste of Honey," no Grammy award etc. I know we'll never know; like when people say what if Bobby Kennedy was not assassinated.

But, if you would like to chime in on another hypothetical: Herb said if Rise was not successful, there would be no follow-up: So that is hypothetical #2 to me: What might Herb have done; skip to Fandango/Bullish type music, or North on South Street? Given his love of jazz, this hypothetical is almost unthinkable.

Finally, If these aren't fun, that's OK, I'll stop.
I think this is fun Keep it going I'll say if Rise had not succeeded it would have become a non album single and I think he might have kept moving on and probably waited a while before he did just a guess on my part but who knows?
 

Mike Blakesley

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Herb said if Rise was not successful, there would be no follow-up: So that is hypothetical #2 to me: What might Herb have done; skip to Fandango/Bullish type music, or North on South Street?
I'm glad the Rise album was a success, even though that wasn't one of my favorite songs; but it gave Herb a reason to make Beyond, the title track of which IS one of my favorites. That whole album is good.
 
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