Herb Alpert’s 2023 Includes New Album, Tour

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Herb Alpert (Photo: Dewey Nicks; used with permission)

Herb Alpert has delivered a new album, Wish Upon a Star. The title arrived September 15, 2023, just as the star resumes his tour with his wife, Lani Hall. The first track, “East Bound And Down,” finds the legendary musician, artist, record label executive and philanthropist finds revisiting the buoyant, upbeat sound of the Tijuana Brass Band. It was written by Jerry Reed and is known as the theme song for the classic action-comedy movie, Smokey and the Bandit. Listen to it and many of the other songs below.

Of his new album, Alpert says, “I don’t like to crowd things with too much studio sweetening – on so many contemporary records I hear, there’s just too much going on.” And, he didn’t want epic solos. “Sometimes I think players are too hung up on technique and wowing the musicians they’re playing with. You could have the greatest group playing, and everybody’s just tearing it up, but it gets into that look-what-I-can-do thing. It doesn’t necessarily captivate if there’s no melody going on.”

“I couldn’t get this song out of my mind after seeing [the move] many moons ago……thought it would make a great instrumental,” says Alpert.

On Wish Upon a Star, Alpert’s 49th studio album, he explores songs written in different eras of pop music history, from venerable Great American Songbook standards (“On the Street Where You Live,” rendered as a bossa nova) to torch songs (a sultry “We’ve Only Just Begun”) to Beatles classics (“And I Love Her”).

Alpert and his partner, Jerry Moss, started A&M Records in 1962 as a home for Alpert’s Tijuana Brass projects, but within a few years grew into an unusually creative independent imprint, releasing landmark records by Wes Montgomery, Antonio Carlos Jobim, The Police, Joan Armatrading and dozens of others.

“I signed the Carpenters to A&M,” Alpert says, recalling that some at the label expressed doubts about the wholesome duo. “I found them, and I remember the first time I heard them I loved them. They knew how to put songs across.”

Related: Moss died on August 16, 2023, at age 88

Recording a new version of Cat Stevens’ “Father and Son” brought Alpert into a nostalgic reverie. “I saw him when he was starting out. Just him and guitar – total knockout. The songs all had a calm depth to them, and the way he expressed himself was overwhelming. Of all the artists we had on A&M, Cat was unusually special.”

Listen to “(Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame,” a 1961 hit for Elvis Presley and written by Doc Pomus andMort Shuman

Alpert celebrated his 88th birthday on March 31. He was reminded of another personal milestone last month, when Taylor Swift made headlines for having four albums in the top 10 on the Billboard 200 charts at the same time, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished by a living artist since 1966 when Alpert did so with Going Places, Whipped Cream & Other Delights, South of the Border, and The Lonely Bull).

Related: Our Album Rewind of Whipped Cream & Other Delights

The complete tracklisting for the album and tour itinerary appear below the Amazon links. Best Classic Bands is an authorized Amazon affiliate. We’re grateful for purchases made by our readers.

Wish Upon A Star Tracklist
1. East Bound And Down
2. Angel Eyes
3. We’ve Only Just Begun
4. On The Street Where You Live
5. Father And Son
6. (Marie’s The Name) His Latest Flame
7. Sacudelo (Shake It)
8. Sensibility
9. Poinciana
10. Waltz For Stan
11. Slow Down
12. It’s All In The Game
13. And I Love Her
14. When You Wish Upon A Star

Related: Our interview with Herb Alpert

Herb Alpert & Lani Hall Tour Dates (Tickets are available here and here)
Sep 16 – Chicago, IL – The Vic Theatre
Sep 17 – Cleveland, OH – Playhouse Square
Sep 19 – Minneapolis, MN – Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
Sep 20 – Iowa City, IA – The Englert Theatre
Sep 21 – Kansas City, MO – Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
Oct 14 – Denver, CO – The Newman Center For The Performing Arts
Oct 15 – Grand Junction, CO – Avalon Theatre
Oct 17 – Boise, ID – The Egyptian Theatre
Oct 18 – Portland, OR – Revolution Hall
Oct 20 – Tacoma, WA – Tacoma Arts Live
Oct 21 – Seattle, WA – Edmonds Center for the Arts
Nov 14-25 – New York, NY – Cafe Carlyle

Best Classic Bands Staff

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