Throughout the years, Brazilian conductor, arranger and musician Sergio Mendes has elevated Latin Jazz to a whole new bossa nova plane, with a dash of funk. Backed up with groups such as Brasil ’66, Brasil ’77 and Brasil ’88, Mendes has covered Antonio Carlos Jobim, the Beatles, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Stevie Wonder, Milton Nascimiento and a whole host of Latin artists. He has also collaborated with artists such as Herb Alpert, guitarist John Pisano, Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Dave Grusin, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, Michel Legrand and some newer artists such as the Black Eyed Peas and John Legend.
In a continuing series of blog entries, Teki will feature her favorite Sergio Mendes albums through the years. And for starters, here’s their 1966 album Herb Alpert presents Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66.
Lani Hall who was lead vocalist for Brasil ’66 debuted with the hit Mas Que Nada which was a cover of a Jorge Ben original. She would later leave Sergio Mendes to stage a solo career and would eventually marry Herb Alpert. Lani was actually a replacement for Wanda De Sah who was the lead singer when Mendes started off with Brasil ’65. In the album, Hall was backed up by Bibi Vogel (who would later be replaced by Janice Hansen during the tour.)
Teki’s favorite songs from the album are Mendes’ notable covers: One Note Samba (Antonio Carlos Jobim & Newton Mendonca), Goin’ Out of My Head (written by Bob Weinstein & Teddy Randazzo), Day Tripper (a Lennon-McCartney original), Agua de Beber (another Jobim composition written with Norman Gimbel and Brazilian Vinicius de Moraes), and Berimbau (an original composition of Baden Powell de Aquino with Gimbel and De Moraes.)
This is a gem of an album that any Sergio Mendes fan should have. You can purchase the original CD, or the tracks in high-quality format, from iTunes store.