Herb Alpert & Lani Hall, "I Feel You"
After almost 38 years of marriage, and even more time as musical associates, it's fair to say that Herb Alpert and Lani Hall have some chemistry. It's certainly displayed on "I Feel You," the couple's first joint album in nearly a decade that shows tasteful and inventive need not be mutually exclusive terms. Case in point is the pair's version of the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun," where Hall caries the song's familiar melody while Alpert and the album's hot instrumental trio work through jazzy modals and staccato dynamics that take the tune to a fresh stylistic realm. They do the same on another Beatles selection, "Blackbird," a revised rendition of the Tijuana Brass' "What Now My Love" and Van Morrison's "Moondance," which is propelled by bassist Hussain Jiffry. Meanwhile, a judicious use of space makes Little Willie John's "Fever" a different kind of sultry. Smoothly delivered but edgy in spots, "I Feel You" is a testament to Alpert and Hall's continuing interpretive zeal.