HERB ALPERT HASN'T LOST HIS GROOVE...
At 85-years-old, music legend Herb Alpert is still living his best life. It’s been an incredible journey too and is the subject of the new documentary “Herb Alpert Is…” which arrives in theaters and on VOD Oct. 2.
Directed by John Scheinfeld (“Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary” and “Sergio Mendes: In The Key of Joy”). “Herb Alpert Is…” tells Alpert’s story along with perspectives from colleagues and ardent music admirers such as Questlove, Sting, Bill Moyers, Quincy Jones, Jimmy Jam, Burt Bacharach, Lou Adler, Richard Carpenter, Alpert’s wife Lani Hall—who sings-- and Jerry Moss, Alpert’s partner and co-founder of A&M Records in Los Angeles. Alpert is the “A” and Moss the “M”).
The A&M indie label further cemented Alpert’s musical legacy as it became one of the most successful music labels in history which housed a roster of artists such as Carole King, Cat Stevens, The Carpenters, Janet Jackson, Peter Frampton, Joe Cocker, Quincy Jones, Sergio Mendes, and The Police among others.
Many of these performers discuss Alpert’s continuing influence on the music industry and marvel at how a once shy and unassuming 8-year-old kid in third grade music appreciation class found his voice through a trumpet and never looked back.
Alpert became a worldwide artistic, philanthropic, and revered musical heavyweight notably with his band The Tijuana Brass. Alpert says the group came about through a chance visit to the bullfights in Tijuana Mexico. That triggered the idea for “The Lonely Bull,” the first instrumental hit for Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass in 1962. It was originally titled “Twinkle Star.”
Despite the band’s name, neither Alpert nor its members were of Mexican heritage. The success of “The Lonely Bull” brought financial security both to Alpert and A&M Records. With subsequent tracks like, “Mexican Shuffle,” “A Taste of Honey,” and “Spanish Flea,” Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass were everywhere on the airwaves and TV during the 1960s.
Alpert contributed to movie scores, performing the title track for the 1967 spy parody movie “Casino Royale” written by Burt Bacharach.
Alpert’s distinctive sound was a huge hit with audiences worldwide and over the years his creativity saw him blend Dixieland and mariachi styles with jazz and pop, R&B and yes even hip-hop. The Notorious B.I.G. couldn’t resist Alpert’s infectious groove and sampled Alpert’s 1979 chart-topping song “Rise” on his 1997 smash hit, “Hypnotize”).
Throughout his career, Alpert racked up numerous awards including: five No. 1 albums and 28 albums on the Billboard magazine album chart, 14 platinum albums, 15 gold albums, and nine Grammy Awards. He sold 72 million records worldwide and is the only musician to hit No. 1 on the U.S.
Billboard Hot 100 pop chart as both a vocalist ("This Guy's in Love with You", 1968) and with the aforementioned instrumental cut “Rise” in 1979. In 2013, Alpert was also awarded the 2012 National Medal of Arts from former president Barack Obama.
In addition to the variety of music featured in “Herb Alpert Is…” fans will be pleased to know a box set commemorating Alpert’s illustrious career—also titled “Herb Alpert Is…” will be released on Oct. 2.
It’s a fitting tribute to a man whose music has brought joy to so many people. In the documentary Alpert says his success took him by surprise and when he started out playing music at weddings and Bar Mitzvahs, he never imagined it would lead to such a rewarding life. He’s been humble and grateful ever since.
Today, Alpert performs when he wants to and tinkers around in the studio, but he mainly spends his time painting and creating sculptures. He has shown his striking work as an abstract painter and sculptor, worldwide.
Through the Herb Alpert Foundation, he has given significant philanthropic support of educational programs in the arts nationwide, from the Harlem School of the Arts and Los Angeles City College to Cal Arts and UCLA.
“Herb Alpert Is…” is a fascinating documentary that honors Alpert’s extraordinary career. Director John Scheinfeld said that he wanted to make a film that would celebrate, uplift and bring the audiences together the way that Herb’s music and philanthropy has done for decades.”
Editor's Note: Some information used in this article provided by Falco Ink. publicity.