Herbert "Herb" Alpert (born March 31, 1935) is an American musician most associated with the group variously known as Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass or TJB. He is also a recording industry executive — he is the "A" of A&M Records (a recording label he and business partner Jerry Moss founded and eventually sold). Born in Los Angeles, California to a Jewish family, Alpert began trumpet lessons at about the age of eight and played at dances as a teenager. Acquiring an early wire recorder in high school, he experimented with recording on this crude equipment. After graduating from Fairfax High School in 1952, he joined the U.S. Army and frequently performed at military ceremonies. After his service in the Army, Alpert tried his hand at acting, but eventually settled on pursuing a career in music. While attending the University of Southern California in the 1950s, he was a member of the USC Trojan Marching Band for two years.
If the 12" single of Herb Alpert's "Rise" hadn't taken over the charts the way it did back in 1979, one wonders if anyone would have gotten around to checking out the Tijuana Brass, or if Alpert would have gone down in the books as the guy who had a number one with a Burt Bacharach tune ("This Guy's in Love with You"). Instead, the cut energized the entire dance club generation, with DJs looking for new grooves, and it even ended up being used by Sean "Puffy" Combs on the Notorious B.I.G.'s Hypnotise, albeit in a drastically re-morphed form.
Naturally, the wild success of "Rise" would lead anyone to the temptation of repeating oneself, and at first, this follow-up LP does plenty of that, grafting the same slow, hand-clapping beat onto several numbers. But Alpert won't sit still for long, and he comes through with some startling things that wake up the record midway through. The funky, percolating party beat of "Red Hot" starts the engine, which is pushed to an electrifying degree by the sequencer-driven, Echoplexed, hard-charging title track, where we hear Alpert's distinctive horn through a metallic electronic buffer. The most amazing track is the finale, "The Factory," a terrifying, relentlessly grinding depiction of a soulless foundry that must have shocked sedate former TJB fans who bought this album on a lark, expecting happy music from the past.
All the high points from the ten-year dominance of Alpert and the Tijuana Brass; includes "A Taste of Honey," "Spanish Flea," and others.
Herb Alpert credited "Bullish", this 1984 album, to "Herb Alpert Tijuana Brass", probably as a tie-in with a tour that Alpert went on around this time which did include four members of the original Tijuana Brass. None of the original Tijuana Brass appear on this album though, & with the glossy mid-'80s sheen of the album, it ain't exactly a return to his '60s sound either. Still, "Bullish" is an impossible-to-resist collection demonstrating that Alpert's ear for irresistible melody was as strong as ever.