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The Monday, Monday thread: Defend your favorite unappreciated TJB songs

Mike Blakesley

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The opening track from The Beat of the Brass, "Monday, Monday," came up on my music shuffle last night. This song doesn't get much respect among TJB critics but it's one of my favorites. I especially like listening to Bob Edmondson's work on it. Starting at about 1:25, the song is basically a duet between Herb and at least two or three iterations of Bob in the background just going crazy on the trombone. To me the trombone is really what makes this song work and I often think Bob Edmondson doesn't get enough credit for his contributions to the Brass sound. I don't know if it was a great decision to make "Monday" the opening song for the album, but I don't know what other tune on that album would have worked as an opener.

Now it's your turn.... think of a song that many people don't count among their favorites and tell us why you think it's awesome.
 

Harry

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"Monday, Monday" is one of those singles that never were. It had been chosen to be single number AM 1028, but for whatever reasons never was issued. It's still listed in many databases of Herb's singles.

In collecting Herb's 45s, I was surprised to find that it really never existed. So I decided to "issue" it myself. The single would have appeared in the era of mono 45s. It was an often used technique in 45 mastering to juice up the record a bit for mono AM stations to give it a bigger sound. This was accomplished by techniques of audio compression and a bit of reverb. Examples are "Tijuana Taxi" and "Zorba The Greek" on AM 787.

So, starting with the mono mix on the UK BEAT OF THE BRASS, here's what single 1028 might have sounded like:

 

Harry

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My nominee for under-appreciated TjB song goes to "Mae". Here was the song that was issued as a single after "Whipped Cream", as the a-side. And yet is doesn't ever show up on any best-of's or retrospectives. The only place to find it is on GOING PLACES or that long-forgotten 45. It's a lovely song and probably exemplifies the very best of Herb's playing abilities.
 

Mike Blakesley

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Another favorite of mine in the underappreciated category is "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" from Warm. I will admit right up front that Herb's playing on this is not the greatest - in fact his track sounds a little like it could be a rehearsal cut that he's just playing casually to "test" the arrangement. But to me that's what makes it awesome! It's very laid-back and just reminds me of a bunch of guys kicking back, sipping margaritas and just knocking out a tune. It would have been cool if it had a cold ending and some party applause-like sounds at the end, like what you hear on some of the Volume 2 tracks. It's one of the most fun tunes in the TJB repertoire to me, my only complaint about it is, it's too short.
 

martin

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I have always enjoyed "Salud, Amor Y Dinero" from South Of The Border. The sound and the mood of the trumpet playing appealed to me from when I heard it for the first time more than fifty years ago.

- greetings from the cold and snowy north -
Martin
 

JOv2

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I especially like listening to Bob Edmondson's work
I agree, Mike. Although it's a weaker opener and I never really enjoyed Herb's arrangement, Bob's bone parts are the one element that make it happen -- it's clear he's having a gas overdubbing against his own parts! (Too bad Herb's arrangement called for Nic, Pat and John to run on autopilot; in a different setting, they could have embellished the heck out of the back-beat groove.)
Salud, Amor Y Dinero
Great choice! The unusual melody (with both quasi-staccato and legato fragments) is memorable and Herb's playing is gorgeous -- particularly the pretty high notes at the coda. SOTB remains my fave TJB LP if only because Herb had yet to determine an attractive "LP formula" (that would start with WP&OD) -- so it would seem it is an honest LP that does not cater to anything other than what Herb wished to play.

From the same LP, I select, Adiós, Mi Corazón. Many years ago I wrote the following, which still sums my feelings for this composition, arrangement and performance:

If this doesn't tug a tear from your eye, then you've just never really listened...The song, arrangement and performance yield a timeless window into something very personal. To my ears, Mr. Alpert would never again equal such an honest, heartfelt, solemn and yearning performance...period. It's a heaven-made match between song and performer. Those sad violins get me every time. This is music to play when you're in the depths of despair and you need to stay there. Fine`.
 

Bobberman

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I have several favorites that would qualify as underappreciated but I will say 2 of them Flamingo is one as it parodies the "Wall of sound" and it has also a festive and lively aire about it and it really made an impression on me when I first heard it at age 13 the second is "She touched me" from Beat of the brass which I first heard a year later. That was obviously was a mid tempo ballad and I felt the emotion of the melody straight on and being a Sol Lake composition it had a sad/happy feel to it the song to me has a sense of Longing and yearning yet optimistic concerning a dear loved one just my interpretation but there are many others but I think these are two good examples.
 

Rudy

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Lots of choices! I'll pick one each from a handful of albums here.

"Desafinado" -- despite Herb claiming he wasn't a jazz musician back then, here he is trading fours on a current Bossa Nova hit with (presumably) Julius Wechter.

"A-Me-Ri-Ca" -- a continuously time-shifting tune from West Side Story gets totally reconfigured as a straight-up Latino number. (And who else could open up this tune with a quote from "Jingle Bells?") There are a few on Volume 2 that I feel, like the album, have been shuffled off to the side over the years.

"Salud, Amor y Dinero" -- long a favorite from SOTB. The arrangement, the instrumentation, the melody. All good. Other gems similar to this one are why I like this album.

"Green Peppers" -- An intereting tune with a lot happening in its minute and a half time. "Bittersweet Samba" gets more of the attention, but I like both. Cal Tjader covered this tune on Along Comes Cal (featuring an arrangement by the legendary Chico O'Farrill).

"Mae" -- A tune I always look forward to on Going Places. It showcases Herb's trumpet quite well. "And the Angels Sing" is another I like in a similar mood.

"Memories of Madrid" -- I think this made it onto a compilation, but I don't see it mentioned here as often. The melody wins me over on this one.

"Blue Sunday" -- It's probably the minor key of this one, and the bridge in the middle, that take this one over the top. One of the very few tracks I like on the album, actually.

"The Love Nest" -- Interesting arrangement.

"Monday Monday" -- I'll side with Mike on this one. The start/stop arrangement is the icing on the cake.

"Girl Talk" -- Lush four-part trumpet work and the lavish arrangement backing make this tune for me.

"Good Morning, Mr. Sunshine" (aka "La Bikina" everywhere else on the planet) -- A traditional Mariachi-type song. I like the strings on this one (thanks to Shorty Rogers) but without, it is probably the most Mariachi-themed tune the group ever recorded. I heard a genuine Mariachi band from decades ago do this tune, and the TJB version is very close in feel.

"Ratatouille" (aka "Coisa No. 1" by Moacir Santos) -- Interesting rearrangement of a Brazilian tune into something that would have been overheard in the French Quarter.
 

Mike Blakesley

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"Good Morning, Mr. Sunshine" (aka "La Bikina" everywhere else on the planet) -- A traditional Mariachi-type song. I like the strings on this one (thanks to Shorty Rogers) but without, it is probably the most Mariachi-themed tune the group ever recorded.

We were sitting in the Mexican restaurant in Epcot at Disney World a few years ago and a tune came over the sound system that sounded very familiar but I couldn't place it, and after a minute it dawned on me, it was that song. Played by an actual mariachi band!
 

rockdoctor

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A couple of my favorites that never get airplay here anymore are Love Potion Number 9 and Casino Royale. One acquaintance said the latter was the only TJB song he ever liked. The former is given a real sexy treatment and makes it fun.
 

Rudy

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Ironic, since "Casino Royale" is just Herb playing trumpet on a Bacharach recording. 😁
 

Charles H.

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From the first note to the last, "Shades of Blue" is an under-valued gem. The slow tempo and lush instrumentation give all the band members the opportunity to shine. It's Julius Wechter's marvelous contribution to SOUNDS LIKE. . . , an album loaded with marvelous tunes, including the dynamic "Treasure of San Miguel," another one of my all-time Brass favorites.

Charles
 

Mike Blakesley

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"Casino Royale" is just Herb playing trumpet on a Bacharach recording.

It's funny because I never even picked up on the difference between "Casino" and all of the other TJB tunes until I learned (relatively recently) about how that recording came about -- Burt had recorded the song with Johnny Rivers, but Johnny didn't like it, so Burt called Herb and suggested that he try it. Burt sent the tapes to Herb, he overdubbed his trumpet (and some Julius marimba) and voila, it was a TJB song -- but then after learning about it, the Bacharach touches are impossible to miss. You can really tell that "Casino" and "This Guy's in Love With You" are Bacharach arrangements. His touches are somewhat less obvious on Herb's other Bacharach/David ballad, "To Wait For Love."
 

Rudy

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The way "Casino" was recorded, it was part of the overall soundtrack from the film, so it fits in well with the other Bacharach-conducted tracks but with Herb as a guest artist on the main title theme. In essence, it was a full-fledged Bacharach recording, and the starkly different style from the rest of Herb's album only made sense to me once I learned its origins. You'll hear a lot of that same instrumentation and arranging style on the other tunes from the soundtrack. Also, think of "Bond Street" from Burt's Reach Out album--that's partially lifted straight out of the soundtrack album but reconfigured for the A&M recording to work as a standalone track. (On the soundtrack, it's paired with another tune.) But the feel of that track on Burt's album is nearly the same as the soundtrack arrangement. Almost like a London-themed "old tyme" car chase theme.

From a performance rights standpoint, I wonder if A&M had to license the track from Colgems in order to use it on a TJB album. (It's also possible it could have been one of those "handshake" deals--Colgems got to use one of the hottest instrumental acts on their soundtrack, in exchange for letting A&M use the tune for the TJB record.)

The ironic part is, I've still never been able to sit all the way through this film. 😁
 

Harry

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The ironic part is, I've still never been able to sit all the way through this film. 😁
Make that two of us. I don't think I've gotten more than five minutes into it.
 

Mike Blakesley

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I watched the opening credits once just to hear the TJB song (to see if there was any difference between the film and the record) but I immediately lost interest after that. But then, I'm not a huge Bond fan anyway and this "spoof" movie doesn't really interest me for some reason. Probably heard too many bad reviews in the past!
 

AM Matt

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Colgems Records, home of The Monkees (August 1966 - early 1971) (whose debut 1966 album was # 1) followed by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass "S.R.O." at # 2. :wtf:
 

Bobberman

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Make that two of us. I don't think I've gotten more than five minutes into it.
I've seen it all the way through several times its not for everyone but being a fan of British humor i liked it for its occasional silliness its an acquired taste and Woody Allen's appearance as the Pathetic villain Jimmy Bond is what I called "Stupid But Funny" or A Funny kind of Stupid"
 

DavidRSmedley

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Song for Herb (YS-TSB). It is just a quintessential Herb Alpert sounding tune, that echoes his forthcoming solo career.

He could record this again and I’d have no objection. He’s re-recorded tunes before...
 

A&M Retro

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A couple of my favorites that never get airplay here anymore are Love Potion Number 9 and Casino Royale. One acquaintance said the latter was the only TJB song he ever liked. The former is given a real sexy treatment and makes it fun.
As a wedding DJ for many years, I can say without reservation that the BEST record ever made for the bouquet and garter toss is Herb’s version of ‘Love Potion #9’.

Not only did it get the crowd going like no other, but it SOUNDED so good on a great set of speakers with all the stereo separation happening.

Never failed me! And I still use it when I spin the occasional party today.
 

Rudy

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As a wedding DJ for many years, I can say without reservation that the BEST record ever made for the bouquet and garter toss is Herb’s version of ‘Love Potion #9’.
You know it! 👍👍

Today's equivalent would probaby be a rap song with f-bombs every three words, played from an illegally downloaded MP3 over a laptop...
 

happycamper

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Here are a few gems that may be less than fully appreciated:

"Bud" Herb Alpert's Ninth. This is one of my favorite TJB tunes. This has beautiful guitar parts, cool trombone work, mellow trumpet, but with a nice beat.

"Marjorine" Warm. This song really swings.

"Whistlestar" Lost Treasures. This is a very hot piece, with some amazing key changes.

"Grandpa Lou" Just You and Me. Very nice sound.

"She Been" Main Event Live. Love the energy here.

"Catfish" Coney Island. So cool. And just a general comment about Coney Island, it has some fantastic marimba work from Julius, and virtuoso piano from Dave Fishberg

"Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" The Christmas Wish. So interesting to hear Herb playing in a classical style. Very nicely done!
 

rockdoctor

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Here are a few gems that may be less than fully appreciated:

"Bud" Herb Alpert's Ninth. This is one of my favorite TJB tunes. This has beautiful guitar parts, cool trombone work, mellow trumpet, but with a nice beat.

"Marjorine" Warm. This song really swings.

"Whistlestar" Lost Treasures. This is a very hot piece, with some amazing key changes.

"Grandpa Lou" Just You and Me. Very nice sound.

"She Been" Main Event Live. Love the energy here.

"Catfish" Coney Island. So cool. And just a general comment about Coney Island, it has some fantastic marimba work from Julius, and virtuoso piano from Dave Fishberg

"Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" The Christmas Wish. So interesting to hear Herb playing in a classical style. Very nicely done!
I can agrees with Bud, Marjorine and Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring as I have heard all of those.
The others I am not familiar with as I do not have any of the albums that those are on.
One selection from Warm that I truly like for it's energy is Sandbox. It made a great closing song for the album.
 
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