Herb Alpert - My Funny Valentine

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

  1. fraserhutch

    fraserhutch Mezzo Piano User

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    I agree, it seems to all boil down to what you are measuring a trumpet player by.
    I have known players who can play all around the horn, possess an excellent upper register, and yet, leave me cold musically.
    I have known players who constantly struggle with the horn, but musically, I would rather listen and play with them than any of the above type players.
    Then there are the guys that have it all.

    Sometimes I think that due to the fact this instrument is such a beast to play we tend to forget as trumpet players what music is really about.
    It's communication. The general audience usually doesn't care about pyrotechnics, they want to be communicated to. Herb was a master at that, Chris Botti too. Instead of some arcane language that only a few speak, they both choose a more popular language, one that is more accessible to the average person. They also do it better than pretty much anyone else out there doing it.

    So to me, that is a very important measure of a trumpet player.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
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  2. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

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    Thank you for the OP, Peter. I thoroughly enjoyed the video. But then again, I am an unsophisticated comebacker that simply recognizes music he enjoys listening to. Herb Alpert has truly had a remarkable long-lived career. It is hard for me to believe that he is still making music after helping inspire me to pick up a trumpet over 47 years ago! I briefly visited his website before posting: "five #1 hits, eight Grammy awards, 15 gold albums and 14 platinum albums; selling more than 72 million records." Not bad for a man that some say is a mediocre trumpet player! I certainly am glad there are still musicians around that can provide enjoyable music to us members of the low-talent unsophisticated horde. What was it that Louis Armstrong said? Oh yeah, "Its all in the phrasing." By the way, can someone direct me to the source of standard metrics universally used to measure greatness in an instrumentalist?

    Jim
     
  3. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Hawaian homey
    I can still see there are some who can't make the distinction between my comments regarding Alpert's technical abilities and his acumen as a producer, band leader and tune-smith. Don't know what else I can write to make it any clearer. Anyway, like I wrote before, you wanna listen to Herb Alpert, listen to Herb Alpert - and enjoy it. Why not? Just please, let's give him credit where credit's due, no more and no less. Happy Sunday!
     
  4. vern

    vern Piano User

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    IMO, Herb Alpert is one of the most important players of 20th century. Why? His playing captured the masses and leaves little doubt in my mind that (directly or indirectly) he's why many of my generation took up the trumpet in the first place. Louis Armstrong, Bud Herseth, Maynard Ferguson, even Maurice Andre all combined may not have had the influence that got 10 or 12 year olds to pick up the trumpet like Alpert. After taking up the trumpet I naturally gravitated to other players, but I give Herb all the credit for getting my brothers and me started.
     
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  5. Franklin D

    Franklin D Forte User

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    Dear Kehaulani, the problem is that you claim to know what the standard is of technical abilities on the trumpet. As I see it, you need different technical abilities for different music. So, for playing jazz you need the abilities to play what you WANT to play. If you can't do that, you lack the technical abilities. Miles, Louis, Bix, maybe they are not really technical players but what they want to play, they did and NOBODY can do it better.
    In a masterclass here in Holland in The Hague, somebody asked the solotrumpetplayer of the Concertgebouworchestra (and he has ALL the technical abilities!) who just was retired if he was going to play some jazz now he was retired. His answer?
    Not possible he said, he lacked the necessary technical abilities!
     
  6. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

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    Interesting thread ..
    I can definitely say that Herb Alpert and Al hirt inspired me to practice ... I was in JR High and had been playing for a year or so.
    I saw a documentary on Herb Alpert the other and gained even more respect for him. He has done so much to bring music to the inner city.
    I have a problem with comparing Chet and Miles styles with his as far as tecnical ability goes... Chet and Miles could both play Be Bop ... fast and difficult .... creating that stuff on the fly .... not even in my dreams could i begin to play what those cats did. Then I believe they made a choice .. Miles went cool and Chet lyrical.
    Herb Alpert is pop always was pop. Herb Alprt actually lost his chops for awhile. I believe he went and saw Carmine Caruso and was told he could tell him what the problem was but couldn't tell him how to fix it. It's a great story if you ever get a chance to watch it.
    I don't think kehaulani ever said Herb Alpert was better or not better than ... or that Herb isn't creative ...
    I think the antithesis of this is Wynton ... he is a phenom on the trumpet .. hands down one of the most talented but I prefer Miles or Chet ... but I can't deny that cat is one of the best trumpet players to grace the planet.
    same as I can't say Herb is the gold standard for technical ability just because I enjoy how he plays and that I happen to thnk he is a class act and a wonderful human being.
     
  7. fraserhutch

    fraserhutch Mezzo Piano User

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    I don't know that Kehaulani is wrong, I think he is measuring something different.

    If you are to measure greatness by pure technical ability, then Herb likely doesn't measure up.

    If you measure greatness by how a trumpet player entertains, touches and inspires his audience, I would argue Herb measures up.
    Same holds for Chet.



     
  8. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

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    I downloaded a transcription of Chet's solo on There Will Never Be Another You ... sounds easy right? .... give it a go at tempo ... let me know what you think .... and then keep in mind he did that on the fly
     
  9. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Hawaian homey
    Franklin - my man - I don't claim to any kind of omniscience. There is no one standard, so please don't accuse me of trying to assume that I know better than others what that might be. But I can surely hear weak technique and I can hear when someone's out of tune. I can also hear when someone's having to work around weak technique when they play.

    I'm comfortable with players who have less technique than others but who have something artistic to offer. No problem. And on the other hand, I'm particularly not impressed by players with tons of technique or exceptionally high-register chops, and who use every trick in the book when they improvise, but who basically have little depth to their solos.

    How Herb Alpert fits into this is subjective and evidently there are a lot of forum members who enjoy his music, his playing and who have been influenced by him. Although some of my comments might imply otherwise, I don't want to take any of that away from them. What I hear, when he plays improvised solos, is a guy who normally plays pedestrian solos, limited by technique and maybe lack of ideas, as well. Obviously others of you hear something different.

    Actually, this is answering for me my original curiosity, which I comment on in my first post above, as to what folks here like about him and why, because I can't relate to that. I respect forum members' opinions and am always looking for ways to get a broader understanding of things like this that I just don't relate to. There have always been certain things about Alpert that I have greatly admired and the way forum members can carry on such great discussions on a thread like this, helps me fill in some gaps and also shows the strength of this forum, something for which I'm very greatful.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
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  10. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

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    kehaulani wrote:
    Sincere question, kehaulani. No hidden agenda. I am a comebacker, having returned to the trumpet after being away from it for several decades. Even in my prime, I was a lousy, probably horrible, improvisor. The kind of player that could be counted on to make people feel better by stopping.:-( Could you provide us an example of one of your solos that is not pedestrian and not limited by lack of technique and ideas? My impression of you is that you are an accomplished pro that many of us could learn from. Also, as you certainly know, there are some people who elevate themselves by detracting from others and some who elevate themselves by their excellence. My genuine impression of you is that you belong to the second camp.

    Jim
     

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