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.