The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Cool Hall of Fame #157


Herb Alpert

9 comments :

Robert Fiore said...

Uh, are you sure the selection committee isn't getting a bit generous here?

huskermould said...

piano. on the rocks....

swac said...

You try having a swingin' bachelor pad without a few Herb LPs laying around (I'm going by that Art of the Centrefold entry a month or so ago).

Mind you, I also like to play his Christmas LP at 45 r.p.m.

estiv said...

Uh, are you sure the selection committee isn't getting a bit generous here?

Nah, even if he did calculatedly make money by catering to the petit bourgeoisie. For one thing, Gerry Mulligan's Age of Steam album exists because Herb Alpert was a Mulligan fan who wanted to hear new material, and gave him a contract. Plus A&M was one of the hipper labels at the height of the hippie era, focusing on talent as much as sales potential, although people like Cat Stevens certainly made money for them as well.

Tom Sutpen said...

Robert:

What can I say . . . the Selection Committe thinks his recording of 'This Guy's in Love with You' alone makes him a candidate.

(besides, I always liked them Tijuana Brass LPs)

Stephen:

Those 'Centerfold' entries are a little misleading. I mean, something tells me the pad would be considerably less swingin' without the Playmate around.

swac said...

That's okay Tom, there'll be another one next month.

I also love his music for Casino Royale.

I just try not to think of his late '70s lite jazz records.

Robert Fiore said...

My perspective is, if you're going to say Sergio Mendes, sure, I could swing with that, but "Spanish Flea"? How cool can you be and still provide the theme for a Chuck Barris production?

andrew said...

He's cool in my books. Have you heard the smooth MOR stuff he did with Chris Montez, reissued by Eclipse? Great stuff, even if a little suburban.

Besides, this photos is great as are his album covers.

- Andrew

harkin said...

This looks to be from his Taste Of Honey video from the mid-60s.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_KDPUTyDyQ

My old man had every TJB record. Loved em. And I sat next to Herb at a Rams game, he had on a silk suit and Converse Chucks!