Afropop Worldwide Q&A!
At age 86, Herb Alpert has just released his 48th album. Catch the Wind is a sharp set of originals and famous covers—“Eleanor Rigby,” “Yesterday,” “Smile, “America the Beautiful.” A defining ’60s vibe has coursed through Herb’s work during all sorts of phases since the legendary reign of the Tijuana Brass (1961-70), and it still shines through on the new album, from the buoyant samba of “Brazilian Moon” to the perky quasi-reggae of “Fantasy Island,” both tunes co-written by Jeff Lorber. With the album out, Herb is getting ready to go on tour with his wife, singer Lani Hall, and their backing trio. He is also continuing to paint and sculpt. In a word, the man is unstoppable, not so unlike Afropop’s own octogenarian host Georges Collinet, who, by the way, used to broadcast Herb’s 1965 song “A Taste of Honey” to 1.5 million listeners in Africa every morning for decades. With all this in the air, Banning Eyre and Georges and Herb all got on a Zoom call for a chat. Here’s how it went down.
Herb Alpert: [popping up on the screen] It works. I’m amazed.
Banning Eyre: Good morning, Herb. How’s it going in L.A.?
It’s overcast at the moment. It’s been weird mornings. Until we straighten this thing out and get everyone healthy.