Herb Alpert documentary details trumpeter and A&M founder’s legacy

Now available to stream online through local theatres, a new feature-length documentary traces the life and career of trumpet player, philanthropist and A&M Records founder Herb Alpert.

Herb Alpert Is… features interviews with artists including Sting, Questlove, Quincy Jones and Lou Adler.

The film was directed by John Scheinfeld, who also helmed the 2016 John Coltrane documentary Chasing Trane.

“Herb is a true artist who did things the right way, achieved success on his own terms, and brought much joy to the world in the process,” Scheinfeld said in a statement. “I wanted to make a documentary that would reflect this and, most importantly, to be a feel-good film that will uplift, inspire, and bring audiences together exactly as does Herb’s music.”

Alpert rose to prominence in the early ’60s with his band, the Tijuana Brass. Their first single The Lonely Bull was a big hit, and the group went on to sell 14 platinum albums and win six Grammy Awards — all before their disbandment in 1969. Alpert would go on to record and perform as a highly successful solo artist throughout the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.

In 1962, Alpert and Jerry Moss founded A&M Records. Over the next 30 years, the pair signed major acts like Carole King, The Police, Janet Jackson, Cat Stevens, Soundgarden and Peter Frampton. A&M had become the world’s biggest independent record label before dissolving in 1999.

Since the ’80s, the Herb Alpert Foundation has carried out Alpert’s philanthropic endeavours, supporting arts education as well as environmental and youth-based causes.

These days, the 85-year-old artist has found himself a new career as a sculptor and abstract expressionist painter.


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The film’s wide release is accompanied by a 63-song Herb Alpert box set. The career-spanning collection is available as a five-piece, 180-gram vinyl set or a three-CD set. Both include a coffee-table book with 180 pages of vintage photos, liner notes and an essay by music journalist Bud Scoppa.

The documentary is now streaming at hotdocs.ca, along with many other local theatres. It’s also available to rent on Apple TV.