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Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass: Beat of the Brass

Track List

Album Notes

Meant as the companion album to a Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass television special of the same name and packaged in a fancy double-fold LP jacket, The Beat of the Brass came out amid signs that Alpert's hot streak was finally beginning to run out. Not quite. Viewer requests for a new Burt Bacharach song, "This Guy's in Love with You" -- featuring an Alpert vocal -- were so strong that A&M released it as a single, which shot up to number one and took The Beat of the Brass with it to the top. Herb's vocal is touching in its strained naïveté; he sounds sincere, and that overrides the lush, overbearing Bacharach orchestral arrangement. The rest of the album generated an often nostalgic quality then and now; the tunes by John Pisano and Sol Lake are exquisite, and Alpert's arrangements of songs like "Thanks for the Memory" seem autumnal in quality, as if an era were about to close. The band still has the ability to groove; the vamp on Julius Wechter's bossa nova "Panama," with Wechter's jazzy vibes and Pisano's strong rhythm guitar, could have been stretched to half an hour. Yet Alpert's trumpet sounds a bit withered at times, and the band vocals and cloying children's chorus on "Talk to the Animals" could be done without. ~ Richard S. Ginell



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