Reprinted from yesterday's late editions

Even Herb Alpert says he doesn't know what to call the music he and South African Hugh Masakela are playing together, but he does know it works. And he's right. Wednesday at the Warner Theater, before a small but wildly enthusiastic audience of perhaps 600, Alpert and Masakela cut loose with what could well turn out to be the jass concert of '78.

Calling it jazz is as limited a definition as the animal-vegetable-or-mineral game. What Alpert and Masakela have forged is both more adverturesome and more sensual than the intellectualized mathematics too often passing for jazz these days. The elements of the sound are as international as the players, who hail from such diverse areas as Harlem, Tennessee, Trinidad, Puerto Rico and South Africa.

Although the tour purportedly stars the two trumpeters, South African trombonist Jonas Gumgwa is without question one of the majors forces of the nine-member group, both as a spellbinding soloist and as a composer with an extraordinary empathy for the other instrumentalists.

Once before Alpert set afloat a whole new musical movement with the Tijuana Brass; he and Masakela may be about to do the same with South African jazz.