Herb Alpert Is Review – Awesome, Four Stars, Solid Gold

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Herb Alpert Is, from Abramorama, presents the story of instrumentalist Herb Alpert, who has through six decades changed the creative world through his music, his artistic expression, his dedication to other artists and his love of music.

Directed by John Scheinfeld Herb Alpert Is begins with a bold splash of red paint, a sharp note, the movement of the brush across a canvas, a camera pan on a man slightly familiar. Older now, at 83, the Alpert most of the public will remember, at first is hidden by time.

To the vast majority of the population, Herb Alpert will always be an instrumentalist, and as we see his talent as a painter and sculptor has had longevity, and while known for his music, his artistic creation outside of music is vast.


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A garden of sculptures, a gallery of paintings, the idea of a one note could never fit. After the introduction, which takes viewers into the three artistic worlds of Herb Alpert, we return with him as he traces his life story.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, he explains his introduction to the trumpet, a chance encounter, an intersection of destiny and for a boy the only instrument that could fit in his hands. Unable to make it "work," for some unknown reason at the time the trumpet stuck and eventually he began to make music. He became the kid on the street, that neighbors would yell through the windows to stop the noise.

After a stint in the army, he returned to LA where both he and the music industry had entered a transitional phase.

By 1960, he had success as a record producer for Jan and Dean, with his partner Lou Adler. Even with the possibility of future success in the safe zone, Alpert decided he wanted to strike out on his own as a recording artist.


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He signed with RCA and as he tells the story he felt like a number and believed that a record label should revolve around the artist, to work with the artist to develop the best product and it became a huge success.

The "A" of A&M Records, Alpert and his business partner Jerry Moss, turned a $400.00 investment into an family of creatives that continue, even today and are included in this documentary, to praise Alpert and his artist centric views.

Traveling through his instrumentalist accomplishments the Herb Alpert that many remember and only ever knew, handsome, hypnotic, and masterful musician, the sounds that changed the world come to life again.

Herb Alpert Is would not be complete without the famous Tijuana Brass, and the middle of the documentary is filled with great moments, great sound, and this beat that changed the world, as we hear transporting even those "7000 miles away" to Tijuana. In 1966 over 13million Herb Alpert records were sold, outselling the Beatles.


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Alpert explains a common moment, young, successful, rich, and unhappy, empty in fact. Wrestling through the feelings, he describes the moment when he left his first wife and found the love of his life in fellow artist Lani Hall Alpert.

A singer with the band Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66, whom Alpert had signed and immediately booked them to open all his concerts. It wasn't love at first sight, even to hear both explain, she expected his "true colors" to eventually show and he had an epiphany.

Even as the music industry again transitioned, Alpert remained a contributor. Able to adapt his style to the sound of the times. In 1979, he again won a Grammy award for the disco style instrumental "Rise." In 2014, 62 years after opening A&M records, he won his ninth Grammy award for Best Pop Instrumental Album.

Throughout the documentary, a wide range of well known talent from the music and entertainment world, including Jerry Moss, Lou Adler, Sting, members of STYX, Peter Frampton, Quincy Jones, Sergio Mendes, Jimmy Jam, Randy "Badazz" Alpert, Terry Lewis, Quest Love, Richard Carpenter, and Billy Bob Thornton provide insight into who Herb Alpert is to them, effects of his music, and other insights into this instrumentalist icon.


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In all, Herb Alpert has earned 15 gold and 14 platinum records, won nine Grammys between 1966 and 2014 and received the National Medal of Arts from President Obama in 2012. Mostly below-the-radar is his significant philanthropic support of educational programs in the arts nationwide, from the Harlem School of the Arts and Los Angeles City College to CalArts and UCLA.

The Herb Alpert Is documentary also tells a story of a much different time in the recording industry.

Herb Alpert Is a must see. More than a story about a classic artist with a timeless sound, a studio exec that cared about the artist, Herb Alpert Is presents a humble guy, who acknowledges his good fortune and gives back.

Captivating, smooth, Herb Alpert Is pure solid gold. Awesome!  Four Stars! See it and see it again.

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