If I Was Producing Herb Alpert

David S

Well-Known Member
In the spirit of Jerry Moss, I’d have him do an album of songs about streets, roads or highways, or activities from such. To wit:

Beautiful Noise

On the Road Again

Street of Dreams

Route 101

Ventura Highway

Carefree Highway

Up Cherry Street

Route 66

Basin Street Blues

Baker Street

Take Me Home, Country Roads

The Long and Winding Road
 
I would also add among the candidates:

Green Flower Street (a Donald Fagen song from The Nightfly)

Hit The Road, Jack (Herb would have fun with this one!)

Road Song (Wes Montgomery)

Four80East has a lot to choose from: Viaduct, Bumper to Bumper, Drive Time, En Route, Positraction...especially En Route as I could totally hear Herb playing that melody.

Unquity Road (Pat Metheny)


 
Well of course I'm no producer, but going by what I know of producers and what I've observed in Herb's career....he has almost always had a "co-producer," whether it be Jerry Moss or Jam & Lewis or Jose Quintana or any of a bunch of others. Meaning he likes to get outside input, which is probably coming in the form of opinions on the overall sound, song choices, whatever.

So in THAT spirit, if I was going to be a producer, I would offer an opinion more about the sound and direction of the album. I'd say "Herb, you consider yourself a jazz player, and you ARE a good jazz player, but in reality, whether you want to believe it or not, you are a jazz player with a pop player's sensibilities. How else could you have come up with all those TJB hit singles?"

I'd say, "You have a great pop album inside of you trying to get out. That's why on every recent album, there are two or three KILLER pop songs, but oftentimes the rest tends to all kinda sound the same. (Sorry Herb, this is just the producer in me talking.)"

I would also say "Please, Herb, please hire a full band for all of your records. You play better with a band. Stop with the computerized background sounds, which i realize are what makes it possible for you to record at your leisure at home and all, but you SOUND better with a band. How about this: Get the arrangements just the way you want them at home, and then bring the band in for the final recordings. Maybe it's a cost vs potential sales thing, but at this point, who cares? Spend the bucks and make a great record as opposed to an ordinary one."

On the subject of concept albums, I'm not a huge fan of them when they are instrumentals. When you're not hearing the lyrics, the theme makes no difference... unless you're talking about a musical styles theme. "Great Ballads" or whatever. So I would forget about any kind of theme. Just collect great songs and make a great album.
 
Well of course I'm no producer, but going by what I know of producers and what I've observed in Herb's career....he has almost always had a "co-producer," whether it be Jerry Moss or Jam & Lewis or Jose Quintana or any of a bunch of others. Meaning he likes to get outside input, which is probably coming in the form of opinions on the overall sound, song choices, whatever.

So in THAT spirit, if I was going to be a producer, I would offer an opinion more about the sound and direction of the album. I'd say "Herb, you consider yourself a jazz player, and you ARE a good jazz player, but in reality, whether you want to believe it or not, you are a jazz player with a pop player's sensibilities. How else could you have come up with all those TJB hit singles?"

I'd say, "You have a great pop album inside of you trying to get out. That's why on every recent album, there are two or three KILLER pop songs, but oftentimes the rest tends to all kinda sound the same. (Sorry Herb, this is just the producer in me talking.)"

I would also say "Please, Herb, please hire a full band for all of your records. You play better with a band. Stop with the computerized background sounds, which i realize are what makes it possible for you to record at your leisure at home and all, but you SOUND better with a band. How about this: Get the arrangements just the way you want them at home, and then bring the band in for the final recordings. Maybe it's a cost vs potential sales thing, but at this point, who cares? Spend the bucks and make a great record as opposed to an ordinary one."

On the subject of concept albums, I'm not a huge fan of them when they are instrumentals. When you're not hearing the lyrics, the theme makes no difference... unless you're talking about a musical styles theme. "Great Ballads" or whatever. So I would forget about any kind of theme. Just collect great songs and make a great album.
Well, I agree on the computerized background music/sounds. Truly live by humans preferred - maybe the Opry perf is proof. Still amazed at how good he sounded. It has been several years since I have seen/heard him live, as the last time for me was at JALC in NYC.

As to the concept notion, I was offering that as an homage to Jerry Moss as he was the one with the idea for the song titles on WCAOD relating to food.

And I’d happily settle for being a co producer!
 
I would also add among the candidates:

Green Flower Street (a Donald Fagen song from The Nightfly)

Hit The Road, Jack (Herb would have fun with this one!)

Road Song (Wes Montgomery)

Four80East has a lot to choose from: Viaduct, Bumper to Bumper, Drive Time, En Route, Positraction...especially En Route as I could totally hear Herb playing that melody.

Unquity Road (Pat Metheny)



I like this tune, En Route! Agree that Mr Alpert could cover this well.

I did think about Hit The Road, Jack, too!
 
"Red Barchetta" (Rush) is a song about a car, but it's also a futuristic story about a "motor law" where cars are outlawed. I could hear Herb doing the melody for this one.
 
The late drummer of RUSH, Neil Peart wrote "Red Barchetta" about an article in Road & Track magazine in the mid 70's. Heard that on Jim Ladd "Interview" radio show back in 1981!!
 
Anytime you do an album based on some kind of theme, you are greatly limiting yourself with the number of songs to choose from. It's not worth it in the end.
 
On the flip side, I often like theme albums--the constraint makes an artist think outside the box and find ways to do something unique with the music.

Theme albums that play on a tired subject are rather repetitive, though--did we really need hundreds of Beatles or West Side Story cover albums, or have every artist under the sun make a bossa nova record in the 60s? It's more clever to stick to songs with food titles, especially when Herb turned so many of those songs upside down with his arrangements.
 
The whole idea was to honor Mr Moss who, of course, was the protagonist for the names of the tunes on the TJB album with the food names. I simply had been looking at Rte 101 and the cover of Street Life (whuch Uve always liked) and thought the street/road theme a niche to honor him, though covers of tunes of folks he signed or were active with would be a obvious and very good approach.
 
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