By Michael P Coleman

Have you ever had a conversation with an old, dear friend with whom you hadn’t connected in a while?  You know, the kind that, within seconds, it seemed as if you’d never been apart at all?

That’s what Sunday’s concert by Grammy-winners Herb Alpert and Lani Hall felt like.

During the show, Alpert shared memories of having last played Modesto’s Gallo Center for the Arts four years ago. I wasn’t there for that 2014 show, so it couldn’t have been nostalgia or deja vu I was feeling as I tapped my feet and swayed to highlights of Alpert’s 50+ year career.

Alpert, first with his Tijuana Bass and later with Hall and as a solo artist, is the genius behind so many hits.  And he played and sang them all, it seemed.  Or more accurately, he shared them with the hundreds who’d packed into the Gallo Center for just a few minutes of his brilliance, 

At 83 years old, Alpert’s lost none of his star power or, frankly, his lung power.  He wailed on that trumpet like his life depended on it, interspersing favorites from his catalog with behind-the-scenes banter about what it had been like to record them, or working with legends like Louis Armstrong, Sam Cooke, Burt Bacharach, and The Carpenters.  The whole show felt like an intimate cocktail party, with entertainment by one of the world’s most celebrated and talented musicians. 

Speaking of musicians, Alpert’s touring band, with which he’s performed since 2006, was superb.  And it was shocking to hear that Hall, his wife of 44 years and an accomplished vocalist in her own right, sounds as good as she did a couple of generations ago.

My only complaint about the show would be Alpert shoehorning some of his hits into a medley or two during the evening.  I wanted to hear the whole freaking eight minute long version of his 1979 mega-hit “Rise,” for example.  Alpert really had to truncate some of his hits, if he was to get them all into the show.  Otherwise, we’d have been at the Gallo Center all night. 

But then again, that would have been fine with me.  

Get information on Herb Alpert, including his upcoming album Herb Alpert Reimagines The Tijuana Bass, on

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Get information on freelancer Michael P Coleman at, or follow him on Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP

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