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Herb Alpert - The Christmas Wish

Posted by Kat Cullen on 2017/11/20

It’s been nearly 50 years since legendary trumpeter/music mogul Herb Alpert has released a new Christmas album!  His debut holiday album was released in 1968 on A&M Records but now he’s returned with 15 Christmas favourites with four tracks that’s he's revisited with a symphony and choir. Recorded at the famous Capitol Records Studio in Hollywood, California and produced by Herb, composer/arranger/conductor Chris Walden (Michael Buble, Diana Krall) and engineer Al Schmitt (George Benson, Steely Dan, Natalie Cole) doing what they do best.  They create a quality sound, texture and feel to an album you’ll want to have on all through the holidays. 

His rendition of ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ is remarkable.  Stripped down to just acoustic guitar, strings, piano, drums and of course his trademark trumpet sound that Mile Davis once said of Herb’s music…”you hear three notes and you know it’s Herb Alpert”.  ‘Merry Christmas Darling’ made famous by The Carpenters released on Herb’s former owned label A&M Records on November 20, 1970 is included with Richard Carpenter conducting and arranging the choir on the song he wrote originally with lyrics by the late Fred Pooler.  When you hear it now with the full band/orchestra/choir and Herb’s melodic playing it just brings back Christmas memories of Karen Carpenters lush vocals on early 70’s radio.  All the Christmas favourites are featured on this 15 song album - ‘The Christmas Song’ , 'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’ and ‘Silent Night’.  ‘White Christmas’ stays true to the original with it’s vibrant orchestral feeling and 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ is quaint with just Herb, drums, strings and bass from Mike Valerio - one of the most in demand session players on the L.A. scene.  

 The album wraps up with the final track that was also on Alpert’s original 60’s Christmas album - Johann Sebastian Bach’s ‘Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring’. This new version is reminiscent of the original with it’s flutes and strings - a true Christmas blessing of a song.  Make sure Herb’s ‘The Christmas Wish’ is on your wish list - just like his last Christmas album was …50 years ago.  Merry Christmas everyone!

 

Gary James

Evenings

wave.fm

Wave 94.7 FM HD2

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