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New CD Reviews: Herb Alpert still going strong

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HERB ALPERT / STEPPIN’ OUT

At 78, the jazz trumpet legend/former A&M Records chief doesn’t have to do albums anymore, but he’s clearly energized on this new effort, featuring wife Lani Hall. Love his version of “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” Hear here: herbalpertpresents.com. GRADE: B+

FRANK SINATRA / DUETS: TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY — DELUXE EDITION

This album reached No. 2 on the Billboard chart and sold over 3 million, mostly because of the all-star collaborations — from Bono to Pavarotti. Here, it’s paired with “Duets II” and bonus tracks. It was his swan song. Hear here: http://tw.gs/RaS3bz. GRADE: B

VARIOUS ARTISTS / ROCKIN’ LEGENDS PAY TRIBUTE TO JACK WHITE

The former White Stripes leader is a student of rock ‘n’ roll, always tipping his hat to those who came before him. Now they return the favor: Wanda Jackson, Gary U.S. Bonds, Bobby Vee and a host of others do spirited covers of White’s songs. Hear here: http://tw.gs/RaS2h1. GRADE: B+

FLEETWOOD MAC / BOSTON

Recorded over three nights at the Boston Tea Party venue in February 1970, this three-CD set captures the Mac long before Buckingham/Nicks joined and gave them a slick sound. They rock the house, especially on “Oh Well.” Hear here: http://tw.gs/RaS3bZ. GRADE: A-

M83 / YOU AND THE NIGHT

Available on MP3 only, this soundtrack to the Yann Gonzalez film of the same name is pretty and atmospheric — even if the French movie is about a young couple and their transvestite maid hosting an orgy (and its aftermath). Hear here: http://tw.gs/RaS3i1. GRADE: B+

NICKELBACK / THE BEST OF NICKELBACK VOLUME 1

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Chad Kroeger and his band mates have stuck to their middle-of-the-road rock formula. And they have the hits to back it up: “How You Remind Me,” “Photograph,” “Someday,” “Far Away,” etc. Hear here: nickelback.com. GRADE: B

Last modified: November 21, 2013
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