“It’s what Miles said about me, which is really touching,
‘You hear three notes and you know it’s Herb Alpert.’
Well, you hear one note and you know it’s Miles. He won!”
So says the modest and artistic Herb Alpert, musician, painter, sculptor, and arts philanthropist, at the end of an interview on a CBS morning program broadcast on Sunday.
Later that evening, Sunday night, at Vibrato, Alpert’s Bel-Air hilltop jazz club, the trumpeter’s rockin’ five-piece band doled out his polished arrangements of standards and south-of-the-border fare. Paired with Alpert: Lani Hall, the beautiful chanteuse who is his wife.
Opening the show, Alpert sputters his way into “Beseme Mucho,” much as in the home-cooked video (below, from a 2009 New York concert).
It sends goosebumps. The off-handed, cool casualness of it …
So does a terrific rendition of “Laura,” swapping between Latin and straight-ahead beats. When warmed up, Alpert’s band purrs like a good car — with kudos to the engine, the gifted and versatile drummer, Mike Shapiro. The Alperts love Latin beat; Lani, whose elegant instrument warbles in a cover of the Beatles’ “Blackbird,” never sounds better than in a well-oiled bossa nova; a special treat, a medley homage to Antonio Carlos Jobim. Alpert, who lays feathery, sometimes ghostly, lines around his wife’s voice, blasts off in a great arrangement of Cole Porter’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”
More from this beautiful, creative couple:
The group heads on a tour promoting their new album sexily entitled, “I Feel You.” A key booking — Jazz at Lincoln Center — Sunday Feb 20. The couple performs at Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa on Friday, May 20.
Like this? Read more:
- Herb Alpert honored with “Satchmo” award
- Herb and Lani play Disney Hall
- Herb Alpert, local hero
These are insanely talented people with a rigorous discipline tempered in phrasing and nuance. They are fresh, vibrant and sensually alive. Bravo! Can’t wait to see them in May.