March 4, 2024

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CD review: Herb Alpert – Sunny Side Of The Street 2022: Video, CD cover

2022 release. Herb Alpert, the prolific Tijuana Brass titan, returns with Sunny Side Of The Street.

This new set of 11 songs contains gentle ballads like “Childhood” and “Time After Time”, upbeat romps like “Pata Pata” and “Tickle Time” and covers of classic songs like “I’ll Remember You” and Louis Armstrong’s “On The Sunny Side Of The Street”. Few artists in the history of American music have been able to stay relevant decade after decade like the 87-year-old Alpert. So, put on your shades and take a walk with Herb on the Sunny Side Of The Street.

Herb Alpert burst onto the international music scene with his Tijuana Brass and proved, quite literally, instrumental in presaging the smooth-jazz movement that he’s still a vital part of. As one of the most admired music titans of that past century, his success with the TJB is dwarfed by his achievements as a mogul (cofounder of A&M), educator and philanthropist. Yet, at age 80, he remains at heart a passionate trumpet player. There was a lengthy period, starting around the turn of the century and stretching for nearly a decade, when he went quiet. Then, with 2009’s Anything Goes, began a welcome renaissance. Now five albums in, he delivers by far the finest session of his career resurgence. This is Alpert’s first postmillennial disc without his wife, singer Lani Hall, nor does he himself add any vocals. The focus is squarely on his playing, which, noticeably ragged on a couple of previous releases, has regained most of its clarity and vigor.

Though he disbanded the Brass in 1969, its breezy influence is still evident, particularly on zesty treatments of “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” “Night Ride” (one of five Alpert originals) and the Sinatra-associated title track. But Sunny Side Of The Street is far more inventive than nostalgic. Alongside such regular session-mates as bassist Hussain Jiffry, drummer Michael Shapiro and keyboardists Eduardo del Barrio, Bill Cantos and Jeff Lorber, he experiments with a spectrum of rhythms and textures. Cleverest among them: his reggae-laced takes on “Goo Goo Eyes’ to Do” and the loping “Time After Time”; the programming-driven (courtesy of son Randy) panache of “Sweet and Lovely” and “Sneaky Pete”; and the calypso-charged “Just A Dream Away”

1. Childhood (3:42)
2. Pata Pata (3:09)
3. Goo Goo Eyes (3:10)
4. I’ll Remember You (3:28)
5. Tickle Time (2:32)
6. Time After Time (3:11)
7. Sneaky Pete (3:02)
8. Going Out Of My Head (3:35)
9. Here She Comes (3:40)
10. Just A Dream Away (3:22)
11. On The Sunny Side Of The Street (3:02)

Herb Alpert - Sunny Side of the Street

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