Herb Alpert has been an inspiration to me throughout my life. In 1965 I was nine years old and consumed with the Beatles, while my parents shared an equal obsession with folk music. There was no middle ground in sight until we were introduced to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.
Herb’s music was so joyous and upbeat that it seemed to be playing everywhere, from television commercials to the jukeboxes at our local New Jersey diner. My family played the record constantly on the “Hi-Fi” in our wood paneled basement recreation room and it created such a bonding experience that in 1967 my parents took me to see the first Casino Royale movie (very racy at that time) because the Tijuana Brass played most of the score.
Since my youth I have followed Herb Alpert’s career and have the utmost respect for him as an artist, businessman and philanthropist. I have never missed one of his shows at The Café Carlyle, and I will be there this week to see Herb and his remarkably talented wife Lani Hall, who are performing there until November 30th. The show gets better every year and Herb is as great a raconteur as he is a musician. Lani Hall has a voice that is full, rich and easily capable of filling a stadium, yet she applies it perfectly to this intimate room.
Herb engages his audience with such a youthful exuberance and enthusiasm that the highlight of every Café Carlyle performance has been the entire audience joining him for “This Guy’s In Love With You.”
I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Herb on my radio programs and for numerous columns and what impresses me most is despite his artistic and financial success at the age of 84 he continues to work and bring his fabulous music to fans like myself.
I didn’t have an opportunity to interview Herb prior to this year’s engagement so I’m hoping if there’s a secret sauce to his longevity he’ll share it with me on Saturday night, but just thinking about the upcoming performance makes me feel younger.