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Herb Alpert & Lani Hall
Submitted by gregory on 06/16/2017 - 18:42.
Last Sunday I had the pleasure of seeing Herb Alpert and Lani Hall at SF Jazz. With Bill Cantos on piano, Hussain Jiffry on bass, and the ubiquitous Michael Shapiro on drums, they were the world class backing band I had expected. Funky, with a mastery of all idioms and a particular flair for Bossa Nova. Musicians (including Miles Davis,) have long known that Mr. Alpert is far hipper than his original Tijuana Brass pop hits would indicate. Even as a young musician 40 years ago, I recognized there was something in his tone and phrasing that was unique and timeless. His 1979 hit Rise preshadows Miles' TuTu. Sunday's show was long on standards, a brief medley of all the hits (I was hoping for all of Rise, but it was a 30 second or so interlude) and memorable duets with Lani Hall, who in power and tone reminded me of Streisand. A Cole Porter medley went from Herb playing Begin the Beguine, to a duet with Lani on I've Got You (Under My Skin). Musician, painter, businessman, philanthropist, at 83 Alpert and Hall seem many years younger, and still very much in love. Perhaps the reason he is so hip, is that he plays exactly what he wants, without trying to be avant. He loves the American Song Book, and has a unique way of re-stating and phrasing a well known melody. Nice work if you can get it...