Personnel includes: Sergio Mendes (piano); Lani Hall (vocals).
Engineers include: Larry Levine, Henry Lewy, Bones Howe.
Personnel: Sergio Mendes (vocals).
Recording information: 1966-1969.
Arranger: Sergio Mendes.
Unlike vocalist Astrud Gilberto, pianist Sergio Mendes was highly respected as a musician in his native Brazil from the very beginnings of bossa nova in the early '60s. Mendes and his combo, Brasil '66, were also the most Americanized of the Brazilian semi-expatriates who enjoyed stateside success at the height of the bossa nova craze. Brazil '66, which featured gifted singer Lani Hall, could occasionally even sound like a slightly Latin version of the Fifth Dimension-without the soaring strings and deluxe production values.
Mendez was a shrewd leader, and he understood that much of '60s pop music was ripe for bossa nova treatment. He successfully covered Beatles tunes several times, with his version of "Fool On The Hill" being a particularly winning example, as well as songs by Simon & Garfunkle, Burt Bacharach, and even Cole Porter-whose "Night And Day" seemed tailor-made for the sensual bossa rhythms. From time to time, Brasil '66 would also introduce the songs of fellow countrymen, such as Jorge Ben's exuberant, "Mais Que Nada," sung in Portuguese.