Herb Alpert's trumpet has one of the most distinctive sounds in music. Miles Davis once said, “You hear three notes and you know it's Herb Alpert.”
Alpert started his career as a songwriter, helping pen songs such as “Baby Talk” for Jan & Dean and “Wonderful World” for Sam Cooke. A student of the trumpet since age 8, Alpert released his first single, the Top 10 hit “The Lonely Bull (El Solo Toro),” in 1962 on his own label, A&M Records, which he co-founded with his business partner Jerry Moss. The song featured a double-tracked trumpet solo and launched both Alpert and the label, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012.
In recent years, the seven-time GRAMMY winner has gone back to playing standards from the American songbook with his wife, vocalist Lani Hall, and a small jazz combo. Alpert recently released his latest single, “Puttin’ On The Ritz,” a version of the Irving Berlin classic that blends contemporary club beats and traditional swing.
In an exclusive interview with GRAMMY.com, Alpert discussed his new single and the creative direction for his forthcoming album, Steppin’ Out, a special moment at the 8th Annual GRAMMY Awards, his July 17 concert at the Hollywood Bowl, and receiving a top honor from President Barack Obama, among other topics.