Herb Alpert Is… – Review

Herb Alpert Is…

Who is Herb Alpert? Most commonly known as a trumpeter who led Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass in the 1960’s, Herb, now in his 80’s, has taken to visual arts. He is a painter and a sculptor as well as a philanthropist. “Herb Alpert Is…” from documentarian John Scheinfeld follows Alpert in the present day, showing his evolution from musician to artist and musician.

The most interesting part of this piece to me was showing how artists basically cannot escape art, and how one form of artistry can often mold into another. It is not uncommon for a musician or an entertainer to be interested in the visual arts and vice versa, it’s almost like artists have the creativity chip running through their veins and its unescapable.

I have to admit, being a millennial, I had heard some of Alpert’s music before but I wasn’t all that familiar with it. It was interesting to learn about him, and I really enjoyed seeing his daily life and learning his personality. Unlike many other famous musicians, Herb seems incredibly stable. It was refreshing to see a famous artist in their 80’s who has a sharp mind, and hadn’t passed away early due to drugs or some similar tragedy.

Herb seemed to have a nice home life, he has been married to Lani Hall since 1974. Maintaining a 46 year marriage in the entertainment business is admirable and rare, and Herb is truly an artist in every sense of the word. A man who cares deeply about his music and visual art, and someone who puts passion and commitment into everything he delves into, including his personal relationships. It was nice to see a man who didn’t allow fame to get to his head, he seems like a person I could sit down and have a coffee and a chit chat with and not feel like I wasn’t on his level.

That being said the documentary left something to be desired with the editing and pacing. We were able to learn who Herb was. His music, his artistry, his business career and other parts of his life that were important to him, but there wasn’t a linear storyline from his youth to the present day it was rather all mixed around; and I think the film could have held my attention better with a different approach.

I understand the filmmakers were trying to show all aspects of his life, but perhaps should have zeroed in better on one thing at a time to have a more cohesive storyline. The editing tended to jog from one part of his life around to another and simply didn’t feel fluid.

Aside from that, I do enjoy documentaries about musicians like Herb, and hope to see more of them. It was nice to travel back in time to an era where the music industry felt more pure. Where music was almost entirely based on talent and these extreme images that record labels and management teams create for musicians today weren’t necessary. The talent was raw, the artists were real, and the music not overproduced and auto tuned.

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Allie is an actor, filmmaker, screenwriter, and comedian from Chicago, Illinois. Her first feature "Kathryn Upside Down" was released in 2019 by Random Media and 1091 Media. She idolizes John Hughes, but when she's not thinking about movies she's putting together outfits and reading up on the latest fashion trends, her favorite designer is Marc Jacobs.


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