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CDA: Jerry Moss

My brother Howard alerted me to the death of Jerry Moss, who died last week at the age of 88. The name rang a bell so I Googled him - - of course I knew Jerry Moss. Here's the opening paragraph of his NY Times obit:


"Jerry Moss, who with the trumpeter Herb Alpert founded A&M Records, which at its peak from the 1960s to the ’80s was an independent powerhouse behind hits by the Carpenters, the Police, Janet Jackson, Peter Frampton and Mr. Alpert’s group, the Tijuana Brass, among many others, has died at his home in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. He was 88."


I'm going to feature my three favorite A & M bands. First, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass playing "Whipped Cream." This isn't such an amazing song - - it's the arrangement that makes it pure genius. It's spare and crisp, full of snap and attitude, and it gives the players room to swing a bit.




Next, my beloved Carpenters. Moss and Alpert got a lot of backtalk from the music press and the rock bands in their stable for signing The Carpenters but they knew that they were extraordinary musicians who would sell well. So The Carpenters, in a sense, funded the head-scratching album rock hoo ha that those other bozos were recording. Do I hear a last laugh? Here's the song that put them at number one:




And last but certainly not least, a band that wasn't mentioned in the NY Times's opening paragraph, the astonishing Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66. My favorite song of theirs (at least today) is "Wave."




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