Sergio Mendes




The tremendously successful Brasil '66 albums do not paint a complete picture of pianist-composer Sergio Mendes. Before the first A&M album presented by Herb Alpert, there were albums on Atlantic, Capitol, and certainly other labels in Brasil. During and after Brasil '66 (and similar groups named for subsequent years), there were various solo albums, collaborations, and some excellent debut albums produced by Sergio Mendes. The Brasil '66 albums are the career highlight, however.

Brasil '66 created some of the most enduringly hip, pop music of the 1960s. Improbable elements included foreign language (some songs), jazz, group vocals, and piano. The first album in this style features acclaimed singer Wanda de Sah with the Sergio Mendes Trio, guitarist Rosinha de Valenša, and Bud Shank. The first three Brasil '66 albums amplified all the strengths of Brasil '65, hitting upon an ideal combination of talent, strong and peppier material, and Herb Alpert's production sense.

Fortunately it was Jorge Ben's "Mais Que Nada" that became their smash hit. The group also covered Joao Donato's "The Frog" as well as compositions by other heavyweights such as Joao Gilberto. Early covers of such mod standards as "Going Out of My Head" and "Spanish Flea" gave way to pleasant but gratuitous covers of numerous Beatles tunes. Sergio Mendes compositions and arrangements became fewer as organist Dave Grusin increasingly took over those duties. Most of their later albums are dismissable, except Stillness for its fantastic, funky version of "For What It's Worth" and "Celebration of the Sunrise."



Sergio Mendes LPs

Rating
Sergio Mendes & Bossa Rio: Voce Ainda Nao Ouviu Nada!; Philips
6Sergio Mendes & Brasil '65: In Person at El Matador; Atlantic SD-8112; 1965 (w/Wanda de Sah)
7Sergio Mendes & Brasil '65 (Sergio Mendes Trio w/Wanda de Sah); Capitol ST-2294; 1965 (The Sergio Mendes Trio: In the Brazilian Bag!; Capitol/Tower ST-2-5052)
6Sergio Mendes: The Swinger from Rio; Atlantic SD-1434; 1966
6Sergio Mendes: The Great Arrival (Cheganca); Atlantic SD-1466
7Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66; A&M SP-4116; 1966
7Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66: Equinox; A&M SP-4122; 1966
6Sergio Mendes: The Beat of Brazil; Atlantic SD-1480; 1967
7Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66: Look Around; A&M SP-4137; 1967
5Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66: Fool on the Hill; A&M SP-4160; 1968
7Sergio Mendes' Favorite Things; Atlantic SD-8177; 1968
5Sergio Mendes: Crystal Illusions; A&M SP-4197
5Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66: Ye-Me-Le; A&M SP-4236; 1969
7Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66: Stillness; A&M SP-4284; 1970
8Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66: Live; A&M; 1970 (Australian edition is Summit SRA-250.084; (rec. in Japan)
7Sergio Mendes & Brasil '77: Pais Tropical; A&M SP-4315; 1971
6Sergio Mendes & Brasil '77: Primal Roots; A&M SP-4353; 1972
Sergio Mendes: Confetti; A&M SP-4984
7The Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 Foursider; A&M SP-6012; 1973 (compilation)
7Sergio Mendes: & Brasil '77: Night & Day; A&M SP-8110
5Sergio Mendes & Brasil '77: Love Music; Bell; 1973
7Sergio Mendes & Brasil '77: Vintage '74; Bell 1305; 1974 (3 Stevie Wonder covers)
6Sergio Mendes; Warner/Elektra 7E-1027; 1975
5Sergio Mendes: Pele ST; Atlantic SD-18231; 1977
6Sergio Mendes & the New Brasil '77; Warner/Elektra 7E-1102; 1977 (2 Stevie Wonder covers, 1 Cliff Coulter)
Sergio Mendes & Brasil '88; Warner/Elektra; 1978


Sergio Mendes Productions

Rating
7Bossa Rio; A&M SP-4191 (prod. Sergio Mendes)
7Bossa Rio: Alegria!; Blue Thumb BTS-8817 (originals have smaller type on disc label; reissues "RE" in the stampers)
Sergio Mendes Presents Ed˙ L˘bo; A&M; 1969
9Macondo; Atlantic SD-7234; 1972
4Gilberto Gil: Nightingale; Elektra/Asylum 6E-167; 1979


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