Herb Alpert - My Funny Valentine

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Peter McNeill, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    I was listening to my iPod on the plane today, and just picked the song...

    My Funny Valentine.
    Herb Alpert,
    Chet Baker
    Miles D
    Wynton M
    Ben Webster - great
    Arturo S
    Chris Botti
    Lee Konitz
    Arthur Prysock

    Herb's made the impact... thought I'd share the moment.
    My Funny Valentine / Herb Alpert - YouTube
  2. Flugel52

    Flugel52 Pianissimo User

    Jan 24, 2011
    Central Florida
    Very nice. Thanks for posting it, Peter. Herb's sound is so recognizable. I wonder how many of us spent more time playing along with TJB albums than practicing arpeggios back in the day? I know I did - it was my introduction to ear training! Also, a great idea for listening to different arrangements and artists on the same tune. Re-ordering playlists on an iPod is so much more convenient than stacking a dozen vinyl albums next to the turntable, and finding tracks one at a time!

  3. study888

    study888 Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 22, 2005
    Darlington S.C.
    Before there was Botti,there was Herb Alpert. Grew up listening to his TJ Brass. The Lonely Bull was one of my favorites.
  4. graysono

    graysono Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 22, 2007
    Hyde Park, Utah
    He was and is a very savvy player. Note how he stays within himself on this. While "smooth jazz" and not my listening stuff usually, it is a very pleasant version of this tune. Personally, I'd take Miles or Chet on this one any day, without taking anything away from this version. Aside: Mr. Alpert is also a hugely successful music businessman, unlike many of his contemporaries, save maybe Quincy J. That alone says a great deal about his "savvy".
  5. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    "It's not what you know, it's how you use what you know!"
    - - - John Brenson, 1967, in an argument over his mediocre musicianship.

    OK (takes a deep, relaxing breath) how to be tactful. Since becoming active on this forum, I've been surprised (taken aback) by how many seem to have been real fans of, if not even enfluenced by, Herb Alpert. Nothing wrong with getting some pleasure out of listening to his stuff, that's for sure. But IMO the guy's a mediocre trumpet player who personifies the quote above.

    Regarding the recording in question, I was gritting my teeth before it was several seconds into it. Herb, dude, when you use a harmon - adjust the intonation! And the improvisation? Very pedestrian. Take away the production values, and there's not a great deal left more than what most adequate improvisers can do.

    Here are a couple of versions I enjoy that I'd offer to supplement anyone's listening pleasure in addition to Herb's instrumental pop version:

    Chet (skip the vocal if you don't like Chet's singing. I think it sets up the trumpet solo well, though):
    CHET BAKER - My Funny Valentine - YouTube

    Keith Jarrett/Peacock/DeJohnettte:
    YouTube - My Funny Valentine Song Keith Jarrett Trio - YouTube
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  6. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    I understand where you are coming from. He isn't a screamer. His technical skills don't appear exceptional. Improv? Nothing out of the ordinary. So why the popularity? People just seem to enjoy his sound. I learned to play by playing along with his albums, as did may here. Maybe it was that his music was playable to us. it was something we could do - and some of us could do it almost as good as him. Most of us average folks couldn't say that about the other names of the day -if we even knew who they were. Alpert was common on pop radio -the others were not.

    The Alpert sound was very unique and distinct. I always wondered how the 2nd trumpet guy could match his extremely short, staccato notes, with the note still sounding like notes. I couldn't do it. Only recently did I learn he dubbed in the 2nd part himself.
  7. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

    Jun 10, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    I have to say that I liked Mr. Alpert's version best. (Any trumpet player who has been as successful as he has has earned my respect, and deserves the "Mr.") It was an entirely different groove than the usual treatment. It became a new song, not another warmed-over version.... but maybe my tastes are just too mainstream. MY favorite version of this tune came from Doc with the Command All-Stars. Keep it simple... pure... and sing through your horn
  8. robrtx

    robrtx Mezzo Forte User

    May 26, 2012
    I grew up listening to Herb and the TJB in the 70s, I love his music and he was a huge influence on my playing and why I love the trumpet.

    Having said that, I believe he was more of a "pop" player, not a true jazz master like Chet or Miles and I personally think that Chet Baker will always own "My Funny Valentine" IMHO

    Nice rendition by Herb none the less, thanks for the post.
  9. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    Anyone that thinks Herb is a mediocre player needs to realize that he is one of the most successful and influential trumpet players of our time. I will always be in gratitude for his influence on my life. Only Satchmo preceded him in my heart and my love of the trumpet. I am a mediocre player..... Herb is a superb player!

    28 albums on the Billboard charts, eight Grammy Awards, fourteen Platinum albums and fifteen Gold albums.[1] As of 1996, Alpert had sold 72 million albums worldwide.[2][3][4] Alpert is the only recording artist to hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop chart as both an instrumentalist ("Rise", 1979) and vocalist (" This Guy's in Love With You", 1968).
  10. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009

    Actually that was what I was trying to say. He was extremely influential - probably influenced 1/2 the folks here other than the youngest. Yet, he confined his playing to stuff WE could play. Maybe he can do the tough stuff in Arbans in cut time and 8va, but what he sold was stuff we could do. I had Alpert mentoring me in the living room on the stereo almost every day.

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