January 7, 2016

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 116: Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass ~ Summertime

reel-to-reel tape box cover
photo of tape box cover by Styrous®

~ ~ ~

I started the Vinyl LP series because I have a collection of over 20,000 vinyl record albums I am selling; each blog entry is about an album from my collection. The 101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes series is an extension of that collection. Inquire for information here.   

~ ~ ~

As with most albums, the top hit on this one, Hurt So Bad, written by Teddy Randazzo, Bobby Weinstein, and Bobby Hart (of the The Monkees), is not my favorite song. That honor goes to the song, Summertime, music by DuBose Heyward, lyrics by George Gershwin. My mom used to sing the song to me when I was little.   

Summertime is from the 1934 opera, Porgy & Bess, which was based on the book by Heyward.  Summertime is sung in the opera by the character, Clara as a lullaby. to sooth a baby to sleep. It is slow and mournful but filled with emotion promising a brighter future. Heyward’s inspiration for the lyrics was the southern folk spiritual-lullaby All My Trials.     

The song as interpreted by Alpert sounds nothing like the original version. His is almost primal and even erotic. The song has been covered by many others (link below to the song on YouTube).   

Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass ~ Summertime
reel-to-reel tape box back cover
photo of tape box cover by Styrous®

Summertime lyrics

An’ the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin'
An’ the cotton is high.

Oh yo’ daddy's rich
An’ yo’ mamma's good lookin'
So hush little baby
Don' yo’ cry.

One of these mornin’s
You're goin’ to rise up singin’
Then you'll spread yo’ wings
An’ you'll take the sky.

But till that mornin’
There's a-nothin’ can harm you
With daddy an’ mammy standin’ by.

Repeat first two verses

reel-to-reel tape box spine
photo by Styrous®

In 1965, the Tijuana Brass were one of the highest paid touring/recording acts. In 1966, they sold over 13 million records, outselling The Beatles! Also in 1966, The Guiness Book Of World Records reported they set a new record by placing five albums simultaneously on the Top 20 of the Billboard Pop LP Chart, an accomplishment that has never been duplicated! In April of 1966, four of those albums were in the Top 10 simultaneously. They won six Grammy Awards, had fifteen Gold albums, fourteen of which went Platinum. I hear you saying, "The Tijuana Brass?"! 


reel-to-reel tape box spine
photo by Styrous®

Alpert brought a refreshing tonality to the sounds of the sixties. It was a pop music alternative to the other types of mostly guitar based rock music that were defining the era. He was very important in giving instrumental music a place on the musical landscape, so to speak, and popularizing the trumpet. A second aspect was the way he attacked each note. The attacks were always clean and well defined yet delicate.   

In an interview by Gary James with bass guitarist, Pat Senatore, Senatore said Alpert used multiple overdubs to give the trumpet(s) more of a section sound. 

reel-to-reel tape 
photo by Styrous®

Though some adopted a prototypical physical appearance, no one in Alpert's band was actually Hispanic. Alpert used to tell his audiences that his group consisted of "Four lasagnas, two bagels, and an American cheese": John Pisano (electric guitar); Lou Pagani (piano); Nick Ceroli (drums); Pat Senatore (bass guitar); Tonni Kalash (trumpet); Herb Alpert (trumpet and vocal); and Bob Edmondson (trombone).  

reel-to-reel tape label detail
detail photo by Styrous®


Side 1:

Hurt So Bad     2:20
Catch A Falling Star     3:00
Martha My Dear     2:07
If You Could Read My Mind     2:39
Darlin'     2:50

Side 2:

Summertime     2:10
Jerusalem     2:33
The Nicest Things Happen     3:12
Montezuma's Revenge     2:41
Strike Up The Band     2:33


Producer – Herb Alpert, Jerry Moss

Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass ‎– Summertime
Label: A&M Records ‎– OR-4314
Format: 7½ ips reel-to-reel tape
Country: US
Released: 1971
Genre: Jazz, Latin
Style: Easy Listening, Latin Jazz

Net links:

Summertime on YouTube:  
Herb Alpert        
Anne Brown, soprano Introduction and Summertime from the opera    
Ella Fitzgerald     
Frank Sinatra           

Thanks, mom 

Styrous® ~ Thursday, January 7, 2016 

No comments:

Post a Comment

PLEASE NOTE: comments are moderated BEFORE they are posted so DO NOT appear immediately.

Thank you.