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Herb Alpert & Lani Hall: Once More, With Feeling

Maximum Performance

Well-known married musical couples who perform together are few and far between--but for Herb Alpert and Lani Hall, that's just one of many unusual aspects of their distinguished careers.

The pair just released I Feel You, their first studio album in nearly 10 years, which reinterprets several well-known classics of the past few decades, including the Beatles' "Here Comes The Sun" and "Blackbird," Peggy Lee's "Fever" and Van Morrison's "Moondance," among other similarly venerable tunes.

Also covered: a reinterpretation of "What Now My Love," a hit for Alpert back in 1966 with his revered Tijuana Brass outfit.

In fact, the storied history shared by Alpert and Hall--he not just as the co-founder of A&M Records but the recording superstar who rose to fame in the '60s and sold over 75 million albums worldwide, she as a Grammy winner and member of Sergio Mendes' much-respected Brasil 66--is part of what makes the pair unique: They make music not for commerce but purely for the love of it.

Additionally, Alpert's artistic passions in other endeavors such as painting and sculpture have won him generous kudos from critics in surprisingly high quarters. Also of note is his Bel Air dinner club Vibrato, a gorgeously designed venue regularly featuring many top-notch jazz musicians.

In fact, Y! Music was lucky enough to catch a private performance by the duo at Vibrato recently, where the band--including Michael Shapiro (drums), Bill Cantos (keyboards) and Hussain Jiffry (bass)--ran through memorable versions of "Blackbird" and "Moondance," among other selections, and were as jaw-droppingly tight as any music fan could only hope.

Following the performance, we sat down for a discussion with the duo about their upcoming tour--dates both in February and in May--their new album, and the joys of working together. It was a heartwarming chat, and further reaffirmation that creativity is very often its own best award. Watch and see for yourself.  

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