Friday, January 03, 2014

Trigger Alpert (1916 - 2013)

It's time to start the new year off with some house cleaning.

In February 2013 Bloggerhythms followed the lead of many other sources on the web and posted that trombone player Paul Tanner, who had just passed away, was the last surviving member of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the World War Two era's most popular big band. (Read Mr. Tanner's brief but very interesting biography here).

As it turns out Tanner was not the band's lone survivor. Instead, the honors go to Herman "Trigger" Alpert, a stand up bass player who joined the Miller organization at the height of their popularity in 1940 when he was only twenty-four years old. Alpert died on December 21, 2013 in Florida at age ninety-seven.

Jazz fans often criticized the band for sounding too stiff and stodgy so the highly regarded Alpert was a welcome addition to the lineup. He provided them with a freewheeling spirit that was sorely missing from their ranks.

Alpert was drafted into the service the following year and when Miller dissolved his very famous civilian outfit he recruited the bassist to be part of his legendary Army Air Force band.

After the war Alpert played with many famous jazz musicians including Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Gene Krupa, and Buddy Rich.

In 1970 Alpert retired from the music business to pursue photography.

1 comment:

  1. And presumably no relation to Herb. Though clearly two brass players on the periphery of jazz, solidly in instrumental pop.

    ReplyDelete