REVIEW POTPOURRI – Herb Alpert: Magic Man

Sergio Mendes

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Herb Alpert

Magic Man
A&M records, SP-3728, LP, recorded 1981.

Now 84 years old, trumpeter Herb Alpert staked his claim to fame back in the early ‘60s with the series of Tijuana Brass albums that sold in the millions as vinyl LPs and continue to do well in CD formats. His A&M label has been home to Sergio Mendes and HIS Brazil ’66, Procol Harum, the Sandpipers, the Carpenters, Burt Bacharach, Janet Jackson, etc.

Magic Man is best described as soft jazz/pop. Alpert utilized a full rhythm section; synthesizers; conventional piano, and Rhodes, and other electric pianos; harp, guitars; his own trumpet and other brass; special percussion instruments including marimbas, vibes, bongos and congas; strings; and vocalists, including himself.

This album consists of eight selections, including the title song, itself a huge hit. All of them are captivating in some fashion; my particular favorites are Secret Garden, with its bass/guitar weavings; the vintage pop classic, Besame Mucho, which contains hypnotic bongo/conga sounds; and a lovely ballad, I Get It from You, sung by Alpert. All of them can be heard on YouTube .

Since 1973, Herb Alpert has been married to Lani Hall, former lead singer for Brazil ’66; its leader, Sergio Mendes, married her replacement, Gracinha.

From E.B.White’s 1942 book, One Man’s Meat, about November on his farm in Maine: ”The wind blew from the South­east and brought rain and the dreariest landscape of the fall. For several hours after arising, everything went wrong; it was one of those days when inanimate objects deliberately plot to destroy a man cleverly ambushed, and when dumb animals form a clique to disturb the existing order.”


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