I Don’t Always Have Brass Balls, But I Do Always Have Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Band

All right, Denise D., this one is for you.  Ask, and you shall receive!  See, now we are getting somewhere… a true musical dialogue… Someone suggests an artist and boom, here they are.  It has happened before… Rob, Jay, Mark… so keep it coming!!!

Yes, I do try to be clever with my titles, but also honest and silly and fun… Sometimes more fun, sometimes more honest… Sometimes something just pops into my head and sends me off on a direction or yes, perhaps… maybe… a tangent!

So… Every once in a while I have brass balls… I do something that is gutsy and nervy and, well, ballsy… It feels good when I do.  I need to have them more… I need to not give so much of a damn about what other people think and be more creative and all out in my choices and artistic endeavors.  That does not mean being an asshole… it means putting your vision and passion on the top of the heap and sticking to your guns… or paint brushes or pens… Whatever it is.  We all have dreams and goals and visions of what art should be… our art… And out art is very different from anyone elses… so go for it, and fight for it… and whip out those brass balls, damn it!

Herb Alpert – Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass

I am listening to this one from 2010 and also 2011’s Herb Alpert’s Best Hits.  There are so many collections to choose from… Both of these have 25 tracks and similar if not identical songs…

Funny, but now Mariachi music seems to be recurring theme… Mariachi El Bronx and now this one…

Herb Alpert is amazing.  While he is perhaps best known alongside the Tijuana Brass, he is also the “A” of A&M Records, a painter and sculptor and an excessively generous philanthropist.. and has sold, oh yeah, 72 million albums… has eight Grammy Awards, fourteen Platinum albums and fifteen Gold albums.  And yes, he is a nice, Jewish boy!!!

Okay, when I was younger I thought Herb Alpert had two or three songs and all of them were used on The Dating Game… Well, “Whipped Cream” and one of his most famous compositions, “Spanish Flea” were on the show… and I think “Acapulco” was used too…

His style is a combo of jazz and pop and that great Latin sound… “Alpert happened to hear a mariachi band while attending a bullfight… and was inspired to find a way to express musically what he felt while watching the wild responses of the crowd…”

The music is pretty infectious.  “The Lonely Bull” is a fantastic song and the first one with the Tijuana Brass, although at this point, it was just him overdubbing his own trumpet, making it sound like a whole horn section.  After this single hit, the first album followed (which was also A&M’s first album released!) and then came the actual putting together of the band.

Somewhat ironically, none of the members of the band were Hispanic, but they did get folks interested in Latin music and acts.  I love how Alpert described the band to his audiences: “Four lasagnas, two bagels, and an American cheese.”

The rest, is musical history!  FYI… Alpert is the only recording artist to have a #1 hit as both an instrumentalist (“Rise”) and vocalist (“This Guy’s in Love With You”).  Maybe he CAN do it ALL!

Man, this music is fun!  It has been way too long since I really, really sat and listened.  Thanks, Denise.

And remember folks… A little spit and polish is all you need to make that brass shine… Well…


1 Comment

Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

One response to “I Don’t Always Have Brass Balls, But I Do Always Have Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Band

  1. Patrick

    About the only things worthwhile from the first film of Casino Royale are the songs. Herb and the TJB theme and, of course, Dusty Springfield’s immortal performance of the Bacharach/David classic, The Look of Love.

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