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Still the king of cocktail hour

Whipped Cream & Other Delights: Re-whipped
Whipped Cream & Other Delights: Re-whipped
By Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass and various artists

Shout! Factory: 2006


This review first appeared in Turbula in March 2006.

Back in the day – say, 40 years ago – Herb Alpert and his Tijuana Brass were kings of the cheesy lounge music. Sneered at perhaps by "serious" jazz fans, Alpert & Co. nevertheless set a tone of low-key lounge cool for much of the early 1960s. For those too young to appreciate the Rat Pack but too old for Elivs and the Beatles, there was Alpert coming out of the hi-fi at social events.

A new "remix" of Alpert's breakthrough 1965 hit album takes every song from that classic of kitsch and turns it into a more contemporary form of easy listening.

The approach actually makes sense – much of modern electronica, particularly the mellower veins like house and chill – owes much to the easy listening bands of the early 1960s. Like, say, Herb Alpert.

Those providing the remixes include Thievery Corporation, Medeski Martin & Wood, Anthony Marinelli and Ozomatli.

Nothing too radical here; every song is still instantly recognizable. They tend to get bubbly backbeats, punchier arrangements, with the Latin influences tweaked even more.

Four decades on, Alpert remains a near-perfect complement to the evening cocktail party.