Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66
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Covering the extent of Brasil '66's output from 1966-1972, Four Sider is the best available retrospective for those new to Mendes' successful Brazilian pop outfit (the 45-song Very Best of Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 offers a more comprehensive, yet potentially daunting overview). Typical of the band's original albums, Four Sider includes a mix of Brazilian material and '60s pop hits. Also on display is Mendes' winning blend of bossa nova rhythms and lounge-a-go-go elements (churning organ riffs and rock basslines), complimented by a variety of percussion, airy vocal harmonies, and his own jazz-informed keyboard contributions and horn charts. Highlights include renditions of the Beatles' "Nowhere Man" and Joni Mitchell's "Chelsea Morning," in addition to several Brazilian hits, like Jorge Ben's "Mais Que Nada" and Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Wave." Other Brazilian luminaries are represented as well, including Edu Lobo, Dori Caymmi, and Oscar Neves, not to mention Mendes himself ("Look Around"). Wrapping up the set are a few Brasil '77 cuts, which spotlight the post-bossa nova sounds of tropicalismo (Ben's "Pais Tropical" and Mendes' "Promise of a Fisherman"). This is a fine collection; one that shows Mendes wasn't simply another space-age bachelor, but an innovative musician and arranger as well.
Four Sider Brasil 66
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