Herb Alpert and the T.J.B.: Last Tango in Paris


Last Tango in Paris


Herb Alpert (trumpet)


Greatest Hits Vol. 2 (A&M 3620)

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Herb Alpert (trumpet),

Lani Hall (vocals), Bob Findley (trumpet), Bob Edmonson (trombone), Dave Frishberg (piano), John Pisano (guitar), Ernie McDaniels (bass), Nick Ceroli (drums), Julius Wechter (marimba), Vince Charles (steel drum, percussion)


Composed by Gato Barbieri; arranged by Quincy Jones


Recorded: Hollywood, CA, November 1973


Rating: 87/100 (learn more)

Featuring an arrangement by Quincy Jones, "Last Tango in Paris" is also enriched by minor electric guitar chords and a more elaborate chord structure than usual for Herb Alpert. Although credited to the Tijuana Brass, it sounds nothing like most of the recordings that group is generally known for.

The majority of Alpert's discography is built on brief, catchy jingles such as "Lollipops and Roses," which boasted an easily hum-able melody and a peppy, joyous atmosphere perfect for TV ads (or, in Alpert's case, shows like The Dating Game, to which he contributed several T.J.B. tracks). However, the only quality this track shares with the earlier hits, besides the contributions of a few mainstay T.J.B. members, is the brief running time. "Tango" is succinct, but even though Alpert's unmistakable trumpet style is present, a sophisticated compositional allure is carried by the orchestration that makes it more provocative (and, ultimately, more interesting) than composer Gato Barbieri's own version. The subdued synths blend in well with the orchestration, a few quick solo lines exist near the end, and Alpert's take is a sexier, sultrier rendering that realizes the song's true potential as its soul is laid bare.

Reviewer: Marcus Singletary


  • 1 Jorge Lardone // Mar 02, 2009 at 06:23 PM
    "...that makes it more provocative (and, ultimately, more interesting) than composer Gato Barbieri's own version." Please! how can you say something like that? Gato have the gift that make him unique, his version of any tune are so great that nobody can make another better, for that there are few musicians that play his music. Gato is a living legend in jazz and he deseves much more attention of the specialized press but...he is not a native of USA and he do not play "american way of jazz". He is creative and piooner of World Jazz.