Never previously released as singles…..Willi Williams ft. Herb Alpert

Submitted by Michael Williams

STEPPING (instrumental written by Willi Williams) featuring Herb Alpert on trumpet

ONE MORE STEP (written by Willi Williams) with Willi Williams (vocals) featuring Herb Alpert on trumpet. Both tracks produced by Willi Williams & Michael “Greydread” Williams

A few years ago, I went to Willi Williams’s house in Pickering, Ontario, for lunch where he played me music from his forthcoming album, Reggae Can’t Done, and I loved it. But there was something missing, something special, something that I heard in the music that would actually take me back to my childhood, thanks to my first records, Tijuana Taxi (from Going Places album) and the album Whipped Cream & Other Delights by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. I told Willi I really wanted Herb’s sound. Inspired by my friend Glenda Fordham of Fordham PR, who told me “you can do this, you can find him” and thankfully I did and with her help, I reached out to the legend himself. 

I called his office and they called me right back. I sent them the track… they called me back asking “do you have a lyric sheet?” “Absolutely”, I replied. I sent them the lyric sheet and again, I got another call back. They told me that Mr. Alpert really liked it and he’s going to call me tomorrow to see exactly what I want, need and how he can help me get it done.

I was shocked, I was surprised and I was feeling so blessed: I could not believe that Herb Alpert was going to call me on my phone! The next day was Thursday and he called me as promised, and I said “Mr. Alpert, sir, I can’t even afford this phone call (nervous laughter) let alone afford to have you play on the track.” His unbelievable response was “Don’t worry about that, I love the track, just don’t mess it up.” I assured him I would NOT mess it up. “Now what do you want me to play…” and I explained to him my idea based on the happy musical memories from childhood when listening to him, and added that I’ve always been a fan of his from the beginning. In fact, I think it was the first music I heard outside of the home. I was not just a fan of his sound but also his label, A&M Records. As a grown-up, I actually worked for A&M Records in Montreal, with a wonderful crew of people and where his love for music permeated the offices – from the halls of A&M headquarters in La Brea in Hollywood, California, all the way to Montreal, down here in Toronto and then around the world.  With Mr. Alpert performing on not just one but two tracks for Willi Williams, we’re honoured to put his name first in the credits, with Willi Williams along with Sly Dunbar, the late Robbie Shakespeare and so many other wonderful musicians.

On behalf of Willi and the other musicians, I’d like to wish a big happy birthday to Herb Alpert who turned 88 on March 31, and we wish him well on his 2023 cross-Canada tour. If you haven’t seen him before, you MUST see him now when he performs in your city.

Interviews with Willi Williams or Michael Williams can be arranged via Glenda Fordham (E: or