12 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Brazilian bandleader and keyboardist Sergio Mendes made a splash in the United States in the ‘60s with his group Brasil ‘66. Mendes combined bossa nova rhythms, sharp arrangements, and breezy vocals to create effervescent pop hits such as “Mas Que Nada” and “Fool On the Hill.” His music is certainly Brazilian, but his work has a highly accessible quality that is designed to cross borders. The Carlinhos Brown-penned “Magalenha” sports vocals and rapping by the songwriter, and features a snazzy arrangement that nods toward Michael Jackson. “Maracatu (Nation of Love)” cruises along in classic Mendes fashion as Seu Jorge’s deep, rough voice complements the smooth vocals of Gracinha Leporace, Mendes’ wife. An inventive chart by Scott Mayo employs clarinets, saxophones, and flutes in elegant ways. Mayo also contributes a nice arrangement to Stevie Wonder’s “The Real Thing,” which finds Katie Hampton on vocals. Any appearance by Milton Nascimento is a good thing, and here he sings a version of his classic “Caxanga,” which he also co-arranged. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Brazilian bandleader and keyboardist Sergio Mendes made a splash in the United States in the ‘60s with his group Brasil ‘66. Mendes combined bossa nova rhythms, sharp arrangements, and breezy vocals to create effervescent pop hits such as “Mas Que Nada” and “Fool On the Hill.” His music is certainly Brazilian, but his work has a highly accessible quality that is designed to cross borders. The Carlinhos Brown-penned “Magalenha” sports vocals and rapping by the songwriter, and features a snazzy arrangement that nods toward Michael Jackson. “Maracatu (Nation of Love)” cruises along in classic Mendes fashion as Seu Jorge’s deep, rough voice complements the smooth vocals of Gracinha Leporace, Mendes’ wife. An inventive chart by Scott Mayo employs clarinets, saxophones, and flutes in elegant ways. Mayo also contributes a nice arrangement to Stevie Wonder’s “The Real Thing,” which finds Katie Hampton on vocals. Any appearance by Milton Nascimento is a good thing, and here he sings a version of his classic “Caxanga,” which he also co-arranged. 

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