Herb Alpert's Ninth is a 1967 album by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. It reached number 4 on the Billboard charts and spent 18 weeks on the Top 40. It was the last album by the Tijuana Brass to be released in both mono and stereo versions; all albums afterward would be released in stereo only.
It was, as its title indicated, the ninth album released by the Brass. Its cover, in addition to a number of still photos from Brass concerts, included a pop-culture joke. Ludwig van Beethoven had been a popular topic on T-shirts in the late 1960s. In this case, an illustration of Beethoven was shown apparently wearing a T-shirt with Alpert's face on it. The title was also a play on Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. None of Beethoven's Ninth actually appeared in the album tracks, but another classical work did - a medley of the tunes from the opera Carmen, centering on "Habanera", and also including "cameos" from some of the group's earlier hits - "Spanish Flea", "A Taste of Honey", "Whipped Cream", "What Now My Love", "Zorba The Greek" and "Tijuana Taxi" - worked into the track.
The album otherwise featured the usual collection of lively pop hit covers, along with a song called "A Banda" that was in the style of some of their earlier hits. The Brass' leisurely rendition of "The Trolley Song" was in deliberate contrast to the well-known energetic version originally sung by Judy Garland in the film Meet Me in St. Louis. Other old songs include the Cole Porter standard "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" made famous by Mary Martin; and "The Love Nest", best known as the radio and TV theme of the George Burns and Gracie Allen programs. Juxtaposed with those oldies was a rendition of the Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends", its instrumentation emphasizing the monotonal aspects of Ringo Starr's song hit.
The album also featured an unusual original entry, a mournful, minor-key melody called "Bud", which was written "In memory of our dear friend Ervan (Bud) Coleman" (who had died from surgery complications on May 26, 1967 (age 45), before the album was completed) and was also credited as being authored by Coleman and his wife Eleanor. Coleman was the composer of several Brass tunes (notably "Tijuana Taxi") and also played guitar and mandolin and several TJB tracks. He was also a key member of Julius Wechter's Baja Marimba Band (their tribute to him, "For Bud", was featured on their 1968 album, Do You Know the Way To San Jose). In addition to the usual brass, the tune featured Spanish guitar.
Collaborating with Alpert in the production was his usual cadre of musicians: Nick Ceroli, Bob Edmondson, Tonni Kalash, Lou Pagani, John Pisano and Pat Senatore.
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