Herb Alpert: Route 101
Herb Alpert (trumpet, vocals)
Classics Vol. 20 (A&M 3731)
Herb Alpert (trumpet, vocals),
Mary Hylan, Darlene Kolden-Hoven, Marie Cain (background vocals), Michel Colombier, Bill Cuomo (keyboards), Gayle Levant (harp), Miguel Peņa, Carlos Rios (guitars), Abraham Laboriel (guitar, bass), “Ready” Freddie Washington (bass), Carlos Vega (drums), Julius Wechter (marimba), Paulinho Da Costa (percussion).
Composed by Juan Carlos Calderon.
Recorded: Mexico City, Mexico, May 1982
Rating: 86/100 (learn more)
On "Route 101," a throng of punchy horns rings out in unchallenged reverie as Herb Alpert and crew want you to believe that half your listening experience is occurring in the U.S. and the other half in Mexico. While it sounds appropriately recorded south of the border, the actual Route 101 does not intersect with Tijuana. However, after digesting this jangly fusion of horns, acoustic guitars, shakers and windy, quasi-Spanish dance patterns, you will swear that it does.
Of course, Alpert had some credibility in his attempt at sonically fusing the big beat with the act of traveling down that particular road, since his career had been based in Southern California for many years and he'd scored a recent disco smash with his hit LP Rise. His playing is crisp and picturesque, and the lilting vocal harmonies ring out as bright as the West Coast sunshine. The enthusiasm is just as infectious as many of his earlier Tijuana Brass cuts, and with the right amount of melodic reiteration and some agile, quick soloing by Alpert that helps prove its worth as a jazz recording, the track has aged well.
Reviewer: Marcus Singletary