Two for Tuesday: Sergio Mendez and Brasil ’66

I’ve been in a real mood to hear Brazilian music lately. Today, Sérgio Mendes and Brasil ’66, who had a string of hits in 1966-1968.

Mendes and Richard Adler had formed a group that he named Brasil ’65, and when that group got a lukewarm reception, Mendes replaced singer Wanda de Sá with Chicago native Lani Hall (who learned to sing in Portuguese phonetically) and moved to Herb Alpert’s A&M Records. Their first album, Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66, went platinum and produced the single “Mas Que Nada.” They found greater success when they performed the Bacharach-David tune “The Look of Love,” from the movie Casino Royale, at the Academy Awards in 1968. Other hits included “The Fool On The Hill,” “Scarborough Fair,” “Going Out of My Head,” and Cole Porter’s “Night and Day.”

Our first selection, in fact, is “Night and Day,” from 1967’s album Equinox. I’ve had this song in my head since yesterday.

Our second selection is “Mas Que Nada,” from that first album. This was taken from Eartha Kitt’s 1967 TV special, “Something Special.” I love Janis Hansen’s earrings in this one.

Mendes has been active since the breakup of Brasil ’66, of course. His 2006 album Timeless featured guest appearances by The Black Eyed Peas, Justin Timberlake, Erykah Badu, Stevie Wonder and others. You can find his website here. Lani Hall married Herb Alpert in 1974, and they are still active as well.

Sérgio Mendes and Brasil ’66, your Two for Tuesday, November 12, 2013.

8 thoughts on “Two for Tuesday: Sergio Mendez and Brasil ’66

    1. I miss the variety shows. They were great entertainment, and there was something for everyone. You ended up watching acts you might not have known or cared much about, and maybe developed a few new likes.

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  1. A few months ago, I went on a hunt for all of Sergio Mendes’s discography… Always loved their music–well remembered from listening to the AM radio in the car as a kid.

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    1. I was surprised to learn that he’s been active since the late 1950’s. He’s put out a ton of music, and I got the impression thhat what he has listed on his site doesn’t include all of it. The version of “Mas Que Nada” that he did with the Black Eyed Peas might be my favorite version of the song, and I’ve heard at least a dozen versions of it.

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      1. If Sergio Mendez is anything like a lot of performers from his era (and I suspect he is), he probably wrote a lot of music that we equate with other artists. I mean, look at how much Barry Gibb wrote that got played all the way up to 90s.

        The discography I could find though was reasonably limited… about 8 albums. I need to dig deeper. If you find anything new, I’d love to know.

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        1. The one on Wikipedia lists 39, if I’ve counted right. Eight sounds right for the number of albums he did as “Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66.” The one I have in my collection is Timeless, where he plays with the Black Eyed Peas, Erykah Badu, India Arie and others. Beyond that, I listen to the full albums that people have loaded to YouTube.

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