A reunion concert by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass promises an evening of memories and mariachi-inspired pop music, and certainly no one left Merriweather Post Pavilion last night disappointed on that count.
Instrumental favorites like "The Lonely Bull," "Tijuana Taxi" and "A Taste of Honey" were rendered with flair and fidelity. Each was sparked by Alpert's brightly-toned trumpet (often played in harmony with two others), while the ensemble's rhythm section, bolstered by marimba, kettledrum and maracas, gave the music a familiar and festive air.
The concert, however, wasn't entirely nostalgic in its appeal. Drawing on the new recordings "Bullish" and "Make a Wish," Alpert proved that his pop instincts remain keen. Though more dance oriented, these tunes possess the same sort of breezy melodies that made Alpert a fixture on the radio in the mid-'60s.
The show was also something of a family affair. "Bullish" gave Alpert's 9-year-old daughter, Aria, a chance to dance innocently in the spotlight, and singer Lani Hall, Alpert's wife, was featured during a brief interlude. She sang a couple of pleasant love songs to the accompaniment of a jazz trio and hurtled the harmonic changes of a breakneck be-bop tune with confidence and finesse.