He Still Has It
By Captain Bacardi
It seems that Herb Alpert never ages, despite being in the music biz for over 60 years. This new album has a youthful energy to it. For an 86 year-old man to come up with something this fresh and appealing is incredible. He opens up with "Slick", a swinging jazz tune originally recorded in 1968 with the Tijuana Brass. On this version Alpert and keyboardist Jeff Lorber trade solos, and Alpert can hold his own on trumpet. The title tune follows, a light samba with more magical horn playing by Alpert, as well as vocals from wife Lani Hall. One of the more mesmerizing songs is a unique take on Lennon & McCartney's "Eleanor Rigby", done in a rather spacey, electronic feel. A beautiful ballad penned by Alpert and pianist Bill Cantos, "Will I See You Again", showcases Alpert's more pensive side. Perhaps the best tune is "Brazilian Moon", an uptempo romp featuring a rare guitar solo by Lorber and a memorable melody. Alpert revisits his past on songs like "I'm Comin' Home", originally done in 1978 with Hugh Masekela, and "Summertime", which he first did in 1971. Alpert even gets into some reggae with "Fantasy Island". The only odd entry is "America The Beautiful", which he just recorded in 2015. But that aside, this is a fresh, fun album that is joyous from start to finish. Definitely worth checking out!