Herb Alpert and Lani Hall have been married for forty-three years, and are still a very cute couple. They give PDA at every opportunity, even in the music videos projected on the big screen behind them. They each talk about how great the other one is. Every time I’ve seen them in the past has been in the presence of Sergio Mendes, who employed Hall as his lead singer in Brazil 66 at the time they were signed to Alpert’s A&M Records. When those three are in the room together, forget about it – the group-love vibes are overwhelming. It’s all so cute. What’s especially cute is watching these two, each one a master of their craft, work together to build something as harmonious and moving as the show we saw at Pepperdine.
As tight and flexible as the group is, it is definitely not the Tijuana Brass redux. That entire segment of Alpert’s career takes up a roughly ten-minute segment of the show, in the form of a medley incorporating “Casino Royale,” “Whipped Cream,” “Spanish Flea,” “A Taste of Honey” and others. His trumpet playing is still instantly recognizable, a gentle, melodic wonder. Considerably more time was spent on his more recent forays, including covers of “Fly Me To The Moon”, “Something”, “Michelle”, “Human Nature” and Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours.” He has lost none of his gift for articulating the essence of a melody through each variation. There’s a feng shui mentality at work – no errant or unnecessary notes, a preference for clean lines and elegant shapes.
Fans of Hall’s work with Brazil 66 were treated to a generous string of those classics – “Mas Que Nada”, “O Pato”. “Upa Neguinho”, “Reza”, “Aguas De Marco”, “The Look Of Love”, “Fool On The Hill” and “Agua De Beber” among them. She also has retained all her gifts, her exquisite timing and phrasing, the only discernible change to her voice being a newly lush vibrato. She’s one of the best people in the world to ever sing this music, which is some of the best music the world has ever heard. That makes her one of the performers you really should see in your lifetime.
And in case it matters- she is definitely still cute. For that matter, so is Herb. All of that PDA seems to be having the desired effect.