"Over The Rainbow"
I still remember the Christmas that my sister received Herb's album Whipped Cream and Other Delights. Boy oh boy, did we play that record a lot. Sure I had received Bobby Sherman and we played him too but it's uncanny how two barely pubescent girls couldn't get enough of a trumpet player!
I also remember the first time I heard Herb sing "This Guy's In Love With You." Oh, how I swooned. I played that single in my parents' basement and danced with myself countless times. I was in love.
Turns out I still am. Hard to believe the object of my affection is now 84 years old. I still love him. And I love his latest album Over The Rainbow.
I mean, start off with the title track. The opening chorus of male vocals transports us back to Richard Carpenter and his lush arrangements. And then in comes that incomparable trumpet. Never too many notes. Just the most exquisite tone. Immense feel in every phrase. A master at work.
On "You Are So Beautiful" (yes, the Joe Cocker hit), Herb shakes things up with a salsa beat and some sweet, intimate vocals. Same thing on Willie Nelson's "Always On My Mind". Would you believe reggae? Yes indeed, Herb isn't just rehashing old gems here. He is reinventing them. He says "It’s all about melodies and feelings. I always try to find melodies that are familiar to people and to do it in a way that’s different than they’ve heard it before." And of course who else can touch your soul on a balled like Mr. Alpert? Check out "With You I'm Born Again." A masterpiece of restraint and passion.
He started playing when he was eight years old and says "The trumpet was my dear friend because I’m an introvert. When the horn started talking, it was saying things I couldn’t get out of my mouth. It’s taken me a long way."
Indeed it has. And how fortunate for music fans that we have been able to share Herb's journey for so many incredible years. We can only hope there will be more years and more albums to come. I have a feeling Mr Alpert's trumpet still has more to say. I can't wait to heart it.
Vickie van Dyke