The Brass Are Comin'

What's your favorite song in The Brass Are Comin'?

  • The Brass Are Comin' (Little Train of Caipira)

    Votes: 1 2.6%
  • Good morning Mr. Sunshine

    Votes: 3 7.9%
  • Country lake

    Votes: 7 18.4%
  • I'll be back

    Votes: 2 5.3%
  • Moon river

    Votes: 3 7.9%
  • Sunny

    Votes: 3 7.9%
  • Anna

    Votes: 4 10.5%
  • Moments

    Votes: 3 7.9%
  • You are my life

    Votes: 3 7.9%
  • I'm an Old Cowhand

    Votes: 1 2.6%
  • Maltese Melody

    Votes: 6 15.8%
  • Robbers And Cops

    Votes: 2 5.3%

  • Total voters
    38
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Chinese Sausage

Member
Thread Starter
What do you think of this album? One of my favorites, I love Nick Ceroli's drumming on "Country lake" and "Sunny", the orchestral arrangements in "Moon River", the trumpet parts in "Good Morning Mr. Sunshine", even Herb's vocal performance on "You are my life". I do not lose hope that Shout Factory will eventually release it.

Is "Good Morning Mr. Sunshine" the same song as "La Bikina"?
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
I find much to like on THE BRASS ARE COMIN', though some of my compatriots here have expressed their misgivings about it. I enjoy the title track, "Anna", "Country Lake", "Good Morning Mr. Sunshine" and "You Are My Life" as favorites.

Your poll list misses 'The Maltese Melody", "I'm An Old Cowhand", and "Robbers And Cops" as choices, and one of those, "The Maltese Melody" is likely to be a favorite of many - it was a single that just missed the Hot 100, bubbling under to a peak position of #108.

"You Are My Life" charted too several months earlier and just missed that Hot 100 as well, peaking at #109.

Harry
 

Mr Bill

Gentlemanly Curmudgeon
Staff member
Moderator
I voted for "Country Lake" and (using my moderator super-powers) added the three missing tunes to the poll...

--Mr Bill
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Now that the poll listing is complete, I voted for "Anna". Initially it was a song I'd not thought twice about, but in recent years it has grown on me with its complex rhythms.

Harry
 

DAN BOLTON

Well-Known Member
I voted for MOMENTS...my favorite John Pisano song. I always thought that this song was the best he ever wrote. And, I'm sure that I heard it someplace other than on the album...like in a commercial; but I don't remember just where. Maybe the melody is just so strong to me that it stood out after hearing it again: It was in 1970 that I heard it first, and then I didn't have any contact with the album again until 30 years later and Napster...that's the reason I hope the album is reissued, along with WARM and SUMMERTIME...WARM I have on vinyl, but not the other two...

I always thought that TBAC was the best TV special that the Brass did, and they were firmly established as a major cultural icon when it was televised. Too bad that the group disbanded soon after it aired...but, I guess it was time.

All in all, this was a much better album than it seems to get credit for being; maybe it's the recording process used...there aren't any real "clinkers" that I skip when I play it.

In some ways, this album is a kind of swan song for the TJB sound...at least to me. The boom in international music was beginning to wane by the late '60's...there was a widening of the cultural scene that really began in the mid '50's, was exacerbated by Telstar in the early '60's and was on the wane by the late '60's. The TJB rode the wave of this movement magnificently, but by '69, the ride was pretty much over. The next album, SUMMERTIME, was more of a jazz-pop oriented album.

So, TBAC is a milestone for me.

Dan
 

Captaindave

Well-Known Member
I am one of those who found TBAC to be somewhat disappointing.

I have posted before that my opinion is that the glory era of the original TJB ended with The Beat of the Brass. I think that subsequent albums indicate an artist who is marking time until the end of the ride. To me, it's like an amusement park ride - the ride is over and it is coming to a stop - all that is left to do is wait for the complete stop to exit the ride.

However, I would vote for The Maltese Melody.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
I like a lot of the songs, but my problem with the album is the "sound" of it. I'm not sure if the problem lies in the production, or the way the band is playing. Maybe both. It just doesn't seem to have the "punch" and confidence of the earlier albums, especially WHIPPED CREAM thru SOUNDS LIKE. Put on TBAC and follow it up with GOING PLACES and you'll see what I mean.

That said - it still has a lot of really good songs. My favorites are "Robbers and Cops," "I'm an Old Cowhand," "Good Morning Mr. Sunshine" and "The Maltese Melody," but the rest aren't bad either. The only mis-step, to me, is "You Are My Life" which is to the TJB what "I Know You" is to Sergio Mendes.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Mike Blakesley said:
I like a lot of the songs, but my problem with the album is the "sound" of it. I'm not sure if the problem lies in the production, or the way the band is playing. Maybe both. It just doesn't seem to have the "punch" and confidence of the earlier albums

It could be that THE BRASS ARE COMIN' is the only Herb Alpert/Tijuana Brass album to suffer from the dreaded HAECO-CSG processing. It's what gives it that phasey, imprecise sound.

Harry
 

Dave

Well-Known Member
The era of Herb & TjB was definitely winding down.... (Perhaps, to a "newbie", this is a WHAT TO AVOID...?) :o

The Western Imagery here is best conveyed in "I'm An Old Cowhand" (which I voted on) and the Outlaws De Amor of "Robbers And Cops", while I think the twist on "I'll be Back" is sort of intriguing, though something which probably could've been done on an album like Ninth... And I have to jump on the "Good Morning, Mr. Sunshine" bandwagon in saying that it's my 2nd-Fav-...!


Dave
 

Numero Cinco

New Member
Harry said:
It could be that THE BRASS ARE COMIN' is the only Herb Alpert/Tijuana Brass album to suffer from the dreaded HAECO-CSG processing. It's what gives it that phasey, imprecise sound.

Before I wade into these waters, Harry, what in tarnation is HAECO-CSG? It sounds like a bad result from a prostate exam.
 

DAN BOLTON

Well-Known Member
Numero Cinco said:
...what in tarnation is HAECO-CSG? It sounds like a bad result from a prostate exam.

I think it's something the FDA requires to be used as a preservative in frozen burritos... :laugh:



Dan
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
HAECO-CSG is a sound-processing which took portions of a recording and turned it somewhat out of phase. The phenomenon with stereo that allows you to reverse the speaker wires and then sum the product reducing it to mono and having the centered vocal eliminated is what this processing was trying to avoid. Since the record companies no longer wanted to provide both stereo and mono versions of albums since most consumers had switched to stereo by 1970, they devised these funny sound schemes to allow mono radio stations (AM Radio) to play stereo records without any goofy effects.

The end result was that we stereo listeners were the ones that got the "goofy effect" with the CSG processing. Basically, if you listen in headphones, you'll find it difficult to pinpoint the sound location of any voice or instrument, as there'll be components of say a centered vocal all over the left and right channels, but not equally so.

When the GREATEST HITS series was released by A&M, all of the "other" artists got the CSG treatment, but the TjB release was straight un-altered stereo.

Harry
 
I have always enjoyed this album by the group. The overall feel isn't as bouncy or dynamic as other lps like "Going Places!!" or "Whipped Cream", but it has a charm all it's own. I suppose I'm the only one who's favorite track is "You Are My Life" cuz I love Herb's vocals mostly. But the soft, easy tempo and the sentiment in the lyrics also remind me of "This Guy's In Love With You", which of course is a superb track.
 

RichardWarner

Well-Known Member
Contributor
Re: the poll. Typo. I think it's "Little Train of Caipira," which was recorded earlier by Paul Winter in his first album on A&M. (An album I've always wanted to see released on CD.)

I've always liked "The Brass are Comin'" because like so many of Herb's recordings, I equate it to a particular time of life. In this case, it was released as I was entering high school...8th grade, which was high school here. Shortly after it came out, the People page of the local newspaper had a short blurb quoting Herb that "for all intents, the Brass has disbanded." I had to look up what the word meant.

Then "You Smile" came out the month I graduated from high school...sort of the bookend.

The Brass are Comin' was available in Japan on CD. What a SHOCK to visit a Tokyo record store and see A&M album after A&M album that was not available here. I spent a fortune at $31 a disc.

And the 1969 special is available for viewing at no charge at the Museum of Broadcasting in New York. I believe it is in black and white --- a kinescope from NBC --- that includes the BankAmericard commercials and NBC celebrities like Lorne Greene and Johnny Carson saying, "...the brass are comin'."
 

DAN BOLTON

Well-Known Member
Would it be possible to remaster this album sans the HAECO-CSG system? If so, it would make even more sense to reissue it.




Dan, hoping...
 

Chinese Sausage

Member
Thread Starter
Harry said:
HAECO-CSG is a sound-processing which took portions of a recording and turned it somewhat out of phase. The phenomenon with stereo that allows you to reverse the speaker wires and then sum the product reducing it to mono and having the centered vocal eliminated is what this processing was trying to avoid. Since the record companies no longer wanted to provide both stereo and mono versions of albums since most consumers had switched to stereo by 1970, they devised these funny sound schemes to allow mono radio stations (AM Radio) to play stereo records without any goofy effects.

The end result was that we stereo listeners were the ones that got the "goofy effect" with the CSG processing. Basically, if you listen in headphones, you'll find it difficult to pinpoint the sound location of any voice or instrument, as there'll be components of say a centered vocal all over the left and right channels, but not equally so.

Is it the same sound like when you plug your earphones to a stereo, only you don't plug it all the way? It sounds like fake stereo.
 

bob knack

Well-Known Member
I find now that this is a most under-appreciated album. The problem with it is the songs were picked out to fit the TV special, and they both turned out disjointed. The songs don't flow like on other albums.

If it ever gets released on CD, I'm going to improve things by adding my own bonus tracks, Tennessee Waltz, Flowers on the Wall, and Cowboys and Indians...now you've got something!

Danny Davis, eat your heart out!
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Chinese Sausage said:
Is it the same sound like when you plug your earphones to a stereo, only you don't plug it all the way? It sounds like fake stereo.

Yes, in fact if you do it just right, you can often 'eliminate' the middle vocal track. If you do it with THE BRASS ARE COMIN', you'll hear all of the instruments with nothing cancelling out.

Harry
 

Numero Cinco

New Member
After many moons I relistened to this album tonight, in preparation for voting. Now I've voted, reread everyone else's comments, and I'm still puzzled. This is not a bad album. Yet I find it a weird album, strangely unsatisfying. What went wrong?

For one thing, I find it oddly incohesive: good songs here, fascinating arrangements there, but … the thing just doesn't gell for me. Very odd, since the title and artwork suggest we're in for Herb's New Dimensions in Country and Western. Ray Charles it's not. Sometimes it doesn't even seem to be TJB.

Another thought: Many of the tracks here are strangely unmelodic. "I'll Be Back" is mystical and mesmerizing. Unfortunately, for me, I also like melodies. "Moon River": What on earth is that about? It begins with Herb doing something like a scat version of "Feelin' Groovy," which then collides head-on with Stan Kenton. Mancini's song struggles to the surface and is for a time recognizable, then sinks back into something uglier than bat guano. I love both Herb Alpert and Dave Grusin. What were they smoking when they worked up those charts?

I'm glad that this thread put me on to the muddy sound quality. I would have assumed that it was all in my peculiar wax (disc and ear).

So how did I vote? I'm a big Sol Lake fan. I played "Country Lake" over and over and, I'm sorry to report, still can't make myself like it. I remember enjoying "The Maltese Melody" on the radio 30 years ago; I enjoy it still, especially its piano. Finally, my favorites, neck and neck, were "Moments" and "Robbers and Cops." The latter won my vote by a nose. It's the purest call-and-response between Edmondson and Alpert that I can recall, with surprising chord changes, subtle doodlings by composer Julius, a nice walking bass, and an electric guitar that gives the song's bouce an edge of rock. My judgment is also colored by memory of the song's presentation on the TV special. It was cucumber-cool: a clever music video before there were such things.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Moon River, as I remember, on the TV special had Herb talking with somebody about how he thought the song should be arranged. The other guy wanted this big band sound and Herb wanted the simpler approach. I can barely remember it but that's what I retained, at least. Sometimes the TV special bits don't translate well to LP when you don't have the show to reference with. (Same thing happened with Talk to the Animals.)

Point of interest: There has been some talk about releasing the TJB specials on DVD. You can bet the Shout! Factory people will be watching the upcoming B. Streisand TV show DVD release with a close eye. If she does well, I would bet Herb's shows get put out too, which would bode well for a reissue of this album to coincide.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
The BRASS ARE COMIN' TV special bit about "Moon River" starts with Herb meeting John Pisano on the beach where Herb mentions that he and John like to work out new arrangements at the beach house.

HerbJohn.jpg


There, they start working on "Moon River" with Herb suggesting first that they do it like "Zorba". John complains that it's too hard to play and Herb again suggests a "Whipped Cream" rhythm. Again John suggests that it "doesn't quite work"

When Herb suggests a "shuffle", we hear the beginning of the track as it appears on the LP, with a slightly different Herb scat vocal. Herb then suggests that it needs a rhythm section and magically the instruments and players appear around them in this large room with the beach view.

Herb then imagines strings, and a bunch more players appear. As Herb's imagining this, we're hearing what he's thinking. Finally he suggests that they bring in a large brass section too, and the room is literally filled to capacity with a full orchestra decked out in tuxes, playing along.

Herb's final suggestion is "Maybe we should just record it with the guys in the Brass." then we see Herb, in studio, recording his part to the backing track. Cut back to the beach house and we see the full seven-member TjB with Herb and John. The rest disappear and we hear John Pisano's guitar as he finishes the song. Herb nods approvingly: "That's it!" and the sequence ends.

So the track on the LP follows this scenario pretty closely, making it a great TV tie-in track, but it's effects are lost on those who haven't seen the show.

Harry
 
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