Tonight continuing the Summer Concert series of outstanding sold-out performances at the Mayo Performing Art Center (MPAC) in Morristown. MPAC presented iconic trumpeter Herb Alpert. Alpert performed along with his Grammy-winning vocalist wife Lani Hall in their 2023 North American tour.
14 Platinum Albums
Alpert’s 6-decade career garnered a list of accolades. These include five #1 hits, nine Grammy Awards, 15 Gold albums, and 14 Platinum albums. Furthermore, he’s sold more than 72 million records. He’s a musician, singer, producer, artist and philanthropist. Hall’s amazing career, in conjunction with Alpert and as a solo performer, includes two Grammy Awards. Alpert’s career began in 1966 as the lead singer in Sergio Mendes’s band Brazil 66. Alpert joked that Mendes is still mad at him for stealing and marrying his lead singer.
Alpert, Hall, and the multi-talented band opened with a video of Louis Armstrong playing What a Wonderful World, with Alpert accompanying him on the trumpet. Next was a refreshing musical montage of some of Alpert’s famous songs. We were treated to What Now My Love, Taste of Honey, and Rise. The audience was ready for more easy-listening music, and Alpert didn’t disappoint.
Alpert and the band played Whipped Cream. He then reminisced about the sensual cover of the 1965 Gold record Whipped Cream and Other Delights, saying it was his favorite cover. He revealed that model Dolores Erickson was indeed covered in shaving cream, “Thank You,” not whipped cream, which fans have wondered about for years.
Alpert recalled meeting Burt Bacharach in the late 60s, inquiring whether Bacharach had an unrecorded song Alpert might produce. The song, This Guy’s in Love With You, written by Bacharach and Hal David, reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It was the first number-one single for the songwriters and singer Alpert, who surprised listeners worldwide with his suave, sexy voice.
The Look of Love
Hall accompanied the band and Alpert with an exceptional version of The Look of Love, another Bacharach/David tune. She next smoothly transitioned to The Fool on the Hill, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. When the song was recorded by Brazil 66 in 1968, it reached the top ten in the U.S. Alpert and Hall’s version tonight was stunning. In tribute to Tony Bennett, Alpert and company next played Fly Me to the Moon and a using very sexy, heavy brass in Ain’t No Sunshine written by Bill Withers.
Alpert, Along with Jerry Moss, formed A and M record label, introducing such acts as Janet Jackson, Cat Stevens, and Peter Frampton. But, in a tearful and heartwarming moment, he displayed a video tribute to Karen Carpenter, playing trumpet along to We’ve Only Just Begun. Alpert launched her and her brother’s career on the A and M label when others overlooked their talent. Carpenter is sorely missed by music lovers and especially Alpert.
The audience shouted requests when Alpert encouraged it, and he interacted with everyone with an open and almost jam-style program he’s well known for. He wrapped up the evening with Copa Cabana. Famed music tutor Carmine Caruso said, “When you hear three notes, you know it’s Herb Alpert.” The audience could have listened to 3,000 more songs.
Herb Alpert at MPAC
The Mayo Performing Arts Center
The Mayo Performing Arts Center, 100 South Street, Morristown NJ 07960.
Tickets to events are available at The Official Ticketing Site of Mayo Performing Arts Center | Mayo Performing Arts Center (mayoarts.org)