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Fresh from earning a ninth Grammy this year and being honored with the National Medal of Arts in 2013 by President Barack Obama, trumpet legend and music industry vet Herb Alpert is set to release a new album, In the Mood, on Sept. 30 on Shout! Factory. His 2013 release, Steppin’ Out, won the Grammy for best pop instrumental album last February.
The new effort features a diverse selection of standards and originals, including a cover of the Everly Brothers’ “Let It Be Me” and an updated version of “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” the 1941 hit for the Glenn Miller Orchestra, powered by a modern groove supplied by his nephew, producer Randy Badazz.
“I started playing on it, and it really worked,” Alpert told the Wall Street Journal, who previewed the track here. “It took this funky, electronic sound and put some elegance on it. Great combination.”
Alpert, the man who co-founded A&M Records and is probably best-known for his contributions with the Tijuana Brass, will support the album release by undertaking an extensive American tour with his wife, singer Lani Hall, who joins Alpert on five songs on the album.
Alpert remains humble about his current string of successes. “Making music is a natural thing for me to do,” he says. “I love melodies from old standards, and I try to present them in a way that hasn’t been heard quite that way before.”
In the Mood includes covers of two classic Everly Brothers tracks, recorded in response to Phil Everly‘s death earlier this year. Alpert even revisits his old Tijuana Brass repertoire on two songs, “Spanish Harlem” and “Let It Be Me.” And on album-closing “America the Beautiful,” Alpert employs percussion from all seven continents to “reflect the melting pot” of the United States.
“I was always going for that thing that was left of center,” he told the Journal. “That was not quite the way everybody else was doing it, taking an evergreen and seeing if I can do them in a way that’s never quite been done before.”
Alpert’s resume: as a solo artist and as the leader of the Tijuana Brass, includes selling more than 72 million records, and placing 28 albums in the Billboard 200, including five at No. 1. He has scored 14 platinum and 15 gold albums, and is the only artist ever to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 as both a vocalist and instrumentalist. At one point, Alpert and the Tijuana Brass simultaneously had four albums in the Top 10.
At A&M Records, he signed and worked with such varied artists as The Carpenters, Cat Stevens, Janet Jackson and The Police, and in 2006 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He’s also an acclaimed painter and sculptor with works in the permanent collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, a Tony Award-winning producer (Angels in America) and a philanthropist who has donated over $100 million towards arts education through his Herb Alpert Foundation.
In the Mood track list:
Chattanooga Choo Choo
Begin the Beguine
Let It Be Me
When Sunny Gets Blue
All I Have To Do Is Dream
America the Beautiful
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