Friday, February 25, 2005

Lost And Found Treasure


Herb Alpert was big in my house. How big? When I heard the Beatles All My Loving, I thought they were covering the Tijuana Brass song.

The first songs I played on my trumpet were TJB songs. One of my first rejections came about because of the trumpet and TJB songs (when I was in junior high, the school had a mock TJB band -- I wasn't allowed to join, though I knew in the darkest most jealous space in my heart that I was born to play the role of Herb Alpert. Or at least Herb Alpert Third Chair. The music teacher kept me out of the band because I wasn't a good player. He was right. He also tried to keep me out of music. He was wrong about that. A few years earlier he'd told my mother that I would never improve -- I was in fifth grade -- and that I should quit. He said this within earshot. And as Tony Bennett said, nothing inspires like a slap to the face.)

I came across Lost Treasures the other day and was pole-axed. A full CD of new material, sounding as fresh and authentic as any TJB classic. Time Travel perfected.

If only I could borrow that trick and travel back to 1970. I'd let the teacher know that my trumpet is still with me. I may not be much better (though I could probably hold my own with most fifth graders), but companionship demands compromise if it's going to work.

And the agreement between us is that I play only for myself, and my trumpet plays only for me.