Q - 9/00, p.1323 stars out of 5
- "...Playful...LOOK AROUND is a lightweight breeze: just the job for breakfast at Ronnie Biggs' house circa '72."
Down Beat - 9/00, p.673.5 stars out of 5
- "...Brings Broadway, a highly accomplished studio jazz esthetic and an almost suffocating sense of perfection to 10 numbers recorded in '67. A precursor to smooth jazz, but with an edge..."
Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 includes: Sergio Mendes (piano, organ); Bob Matthews (vocals, bass); Jose Soares (vocals, percussion); Lani Hall, Janis Hansen (vocals); John Pisano (guitar); Joao Palma (drums).
Producers: Herb Alpert, Jerry Moss.
Reissue producer: Richard Seidel.
Recorded at Sunset Sound, Western Recorders and Annex Studios, Hollywood, California in 1967. Originally released on A&M (4137).
Digitally remastered by Fletcher Munson (Universal Mastering Studios-East).
This is part of the Verve By Request series.
Personnel: Sergio Mendes (piano, organ); Jose Soares (vocals, percussion); Janis Hansen, Lani Hall, Bob Matthews (vocals); John Pisano (piano); Joao Palma (drums).
Arrangers: Dave Grusin; Dick Hazard; Sergio Mendes.
The 1990s saw a resurgence of interest in the exotica and lounge music of the swinging '60s, prompting a slew of compilations and revival bands. But newcomers to the genre need look no further than the 1967 Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 album LOOK AROUND. From the distinctive period cover art (which depicts Mendes and the band attired in suits and relaxing under brightly colored parasols) to the groovy, streamlined sounds within, LOOK AROUND is a textbook contender for the perfect space-age bachelor-pad album.
But Mendes's vision exceeds fads and fashion; in fact, the pianist and bandleader perfected his sound on this album, alighting on just the right mixture of pulse-quickening Latin grooves, breezy Astrud Gilberto-esque vocals (from singers Janis Hansen and Lani Hall), sophisticated orchestrations, and pop flavors. While a chipper version of the Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends" proved Mendes was keeping abreast of the times, he also treats listeners to fantastic compositions from Gilberto Gil ("Roda") and Harold Lobo ("Tristeza [Goodbye Sadness]"). A cleverly arranged take on Burt Bacharach's "The Look of Love," which became a hit in the US, is here, too. Herb Alpert's clean, lush production gives the crowning touch to this mainstream Latin-pop classic.