His interpretation of mariachi music, dubbed “Ameriachi,” on songs such as The Lonely Bull, A Taste of Honey and Spanish Flea became enormously popular and helped introduce mainstream audiences to Latin-influenced music. Alpert also has created abstract expressionist paintings and sculpture over two decades, which are publicly displayed on occasion. A third incarnation of the group came together to tour after Herb released the Bullish album in 1984. was recently released in high-res, available from the usual sources (HDTracks, Qobuz, etc.). It was released by A&M Records on all formats: LP, 8-track, cassette, open reel and eventually CD, and was reissued in 2005 by the Shout!Factory label as part of the Herb Alpert Signature Series. At the age of eight, he was drawn to the trumpet in a music appreciation class in his elementary school. After the Tijuana Brass became massively popular with hits from their later albums, Volume 2 was reissued in 1966 and eventually reached #17 on the Billboard album chart.
By this album, the Brass were playing only a token Mexican-themed song or two per album, the rest of the tracks being pop hits and Broadway tunes. Alpert’s first top ten hit, and fifth gold record, the album continued the progression of the Tijuana Brass from its mostly-Mexican sound to a more easy-listening style, with a collection of cover versions of popular songs. However, I now realize the fidelity on there is not as good as the individual albums themselves. There were also a few cover versions of popular songs, a trend which would grow in their next two albums, Volume 2 and South of the Border. singles top 40, as did “The Work Song,” which featured the “ping” sound effect of a hammer or a pickaxe hitting rocks or other solid objects. But for a more sweeping look at the TJB, there are better, more economical packages around. “Spanish Flea” and “Tijuana Taxi” are soundtracks to two separate cartoons.
I love every track, it gets constant play in my house. The album had its first CD release in 2006 on the Shout!Factory label. Indeed, stretches of this record reveal a tired group and a leader whose trumpet has lost much of its old zip. A. Halfway through the concert, Brewster (the Guru) and Rufus mistake Bob Findley, one of the other brass players, for Herb. The LP edition of the album was issued twice. Alpert’s family of sidemen and composers were busy generating their own catchy hits, like Wechter’s deadly, infectious “Spanish Flea,” and the tragically short-lived Ervan Coleman’s wonderfully goofy “Tijuana Taxi.” The bossman’s trumpet could be joyous, mocking, and melancholy in turns, and his choices of tunes totally unpredictable; who else would dare juxtapose “The 3rd Man Theme,” “Walk, Don’t Run,” “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You,” and “Zorba the Greek” on one record?
It was, as its title indicated, the ninth album released by the Brass. Being deeply affected (one could say “romanced”) by a bullfight he attended in Tijuana, he added bullfight sound effects to the song that would become “The Lonely Bull”. (Standing Room Only), referring to the Tijuana Brass’ string of sold-out concerts, is an accurate title, for this LP is about a seven-piece band loaded with experienced jazzers who groove and swing together to a greater degree than on their previous albums. Shorty Rogers again was called in to provide voices and orchestrations, but he is more tasteful here than on the Christmas Album, the extreme dynamic range on Harry Nilsson’s “Without Her” notwithstanding. Rogers’ cooing voices introduce several of the tunes, whereupon the Tijuana Brass do their mostly unrelated Ameriachi thing familiar from past albums. Pisano, who debuted as a composer on Going Places, comes up with a memorably whistleable song, “So What’s New,” and the rest of Alpert’s songwriting brigade (Ervan Coleman, Julius Wechter, and Sol Lake) chime in with some lively, catchy tunes. Also, Alpert was just getting the TJB concept underway; the textures are leaner, the productions less polished, and the accent is more consciously on a Mexican mariachi ambience — the relatively square rhythms, the mandolins, the mournful, wistful siesta feeling — than the records down the road.
Alpert has had five number one hits, 15 gold and 14 platinum records, won eight Grammy Awards and was named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We became friends towards the end of his life and he told me how the orchestrator would put the music in front of him and play the track, then he’d just improvise his solo, which is staggering. Cover Art provided by the Cover Art Archive. Not quite. Have you seen Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass covering another artist? We have selected English as your language preference. The albums were remastered from the original analog tape mixes by Grammy-winning mastering engineer Bernie Grundman, who was the mastering engineer on many of the Tijuana Brass and Alpert albums.