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South of the Border by Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass

The Tijuana Brass was a band that found a formula and a niche and played it to the hilt. Schmaltz (a horrible version of "Hello Dolly," a song that was horrible from the get) and beautiful work, such as that on "I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face," share space. In between are bouncy, jaunty tunes that were structured in such a way as to get grandma’s toe tapping as quickly as junior’s. "Up Cherry Street," for instance, has the same intro as Herman’s Hermit’s "I’m Into Something Good," and a mix of horns and whistling, all the rage in instrumental music of the time. "The Mexican Shuffle" was a radio hit that reminds a bit of "Tequila," and "El Presidente" mirrors the bombastic excitement of "The Lonely Bull." Though I don’t recall this being much of a radio staple at the time, it has ‘hit’ written all over it. The version of the Beatle’s "All My Loving" was years ahead of Musak, and it has the same appeal as the Longines Symphony Plays the Beatles. "Angelito" is one of the standout numbers, for its trumpet work and the languid quality. The xylophone solo was a very nice touch. "Salud, Amor y Dinero" is nicely done and features nice guitar work. "Numero Cinco," a folky piece, has a fine interplay between the horns and percussion, and the closer, "Adios, Mr. Corazon," another quiet piece, is well performed. Fans of instrumental pop music, and obviously those of the Tijuana Brass, will find much to enjoy here.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass
  • CD Title: South of the Border
  • Genre: Smooth Jazz
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Reissue Original Release: 1964
  • Record Label: Shout
  • Rating: Three Stars
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