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Herb Alpert: Colors

Using his personal label-Almo Sounds-as a staging area, the legendary trumpeter Herb Alpert has done some of his most fruitful experimenting in recent years. His latest release-an eponymous album with the accompanying band dubbed Colors (Almo Sounds; 46:31)-is no exception, wrapping little packages of extra-crispy percussion, neat modern arrangements and universal touches in the ribbon of his haunted leads. Producers Will Calhoun and Doug Wimbush leave their modern hip-bop fingerprints on tunes like the Latin-derived techno-march, “Dorita,” and the lumbering, industrial drag-groove lurching beneath acoustic piano on “Colors.” A prime example of this old-meets-new approach is lead-off track “Libertango,” a Pet Shop Boys-like pastiche of disco trip rhythms and ’70s orchestral swirl, with a funky accordion line bringing an odd, old world quality to the mix. A postmodern, trance-like take on the Bacharach classic, “The Look of Love” is another highlight, with Alpert teasingly pinching and tweaking his mute tone for just the right dark effect.

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