Discography: Page 1
Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66: Herb Alpert Presents
A&M Records SP-4116
Produced by: Herb Alpert
The Brasil '66 debut album on A&M opens with a bang--"Mas Que Nada" was, and still is, one of Mendes' finest recordings. Using a sparse combination of female vocalists, drums, piano, bass and percussion, this album was Brasil '66 at its leanest. "One Note Samba/Spanish Flea" cleverly combines two popular songs, one of Bossa Nova fame, the other straight out of the Tijuana Brass catalog. Henry Mancini's "Lujon" (from the excellent Mr. Lucky Goes Latin album) is given vocals and retitled "Slow Hot Wind". "O Pato" and "Agua De Beber" cover a couple more tracks from the popular Brazilian repertoire, and the American popular scene is represented by "Going Out Of My Head" and "Day Tripper". One of the more interesting tunes here is "Berimbau", based on a Brazilian chant. (Interesting tidbit: "Mas Que Nada" has been misspelled, in perpetuity, as "Mais Que Nada" on Brasil 66 albums!) Pictured here is a rare half-speed pressing issued by Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs, which is notable for its excellent clarity. If only A&M's own reissues on CD sounded this good!
Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66: Equinox
A&M Records SP-4122
Produced by: Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss
This sophomore effort of Brasil '66 covers a lot of the same ground as the first album. Most notable is the addition of guitarist John Pisano, from the Tijuana Brass. There are more excellent arrangements; the standouts are "Triste", "Chove Chuva" and "Night and Day".
Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66: Look Around
A&M Records SP-4137
Produced by: Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss
Comprised of the same musicians as the first two Brasil '66 album, there are a few new twists. The most prominent are the two Lani Hall showcases, "Like A Lover" and "So Many Stars", both lightly sprinkled with strings. Other favorites include "Roda", "Batucada", the title track and the distinctly Mendes arrangement of "With A Little Help From My Friends".
Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66: Fool On The Hill
A&M Records SPX-4160
Produced by: Sergio Mendes
This album presents a second version of Brasil '66, including the excellent Brazilian musicians Rubens Bassini, Sebastiao Neto and Dom Um Romao. The string arrangements were written by Dave Grusin. What's different is the direction in which the music on this album took. Turning from pop music influences, these songs reflect more of the Brazilian heritage of the musicians, and are more adventurous as a result. "Festa", "Casa Forte" and "Lapinha" are my personal favorites on the album. Beside these fine tracks, the most-recognized arrangements from this album would be the two cover versions on this album: "Fool On The Hill" and "Scarborough Fair". In case you're wondering what kind of "hill" the "fools" on the cover are sitting on, on the original LP gatefold jacket, take a closer look! Of all the original Brasil '66 albums, this is the only one to be released domestically on CD (currently on Polygram's Rebound budget label).
Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66: Crystal Illusions
A&M Records SP-4197
Produced by: Sergio Mendes & Herb Alpert
After the upbeat Fool On The Hill, Crystal Illusions seems quiet in comparison with such easygoing fare as "Viola" and "Song of No Regrets". Milton Nascimento makes an excellent contribution with "Empty Faces", and "Pretty World" has to be one of the most cheerful songs Brasil '66 ever recorded. The album's centerpiece is the pensive title track.
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