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Album Review

Sergio Mendes took a deep breath, expanded his sound to include strings lavishly arranged by the young Dave Grusin and Dick Hazard, went further into Brazil, and out came a gorgeous record of Brasil '66 at the peak of its form. Here Mendes released himself from any reliance upon Antonio Carlos Jobim and rounded up a wealth of truly great material from Brazilian fellow travelers: Gilberto Gil's jet-propelled "Roda" and Joao Donato's clever "The Frog," Dori Caymmi's stunningly beautiful "Like a Lover," Harold Lobo's carnival-esque "Tristeza," and Mendes himself (the haunting "So Many Stars" and the title track). Mendes was also hip enough to include "With a Little Help From My Friends" from the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper LP. As things evolved, though, the one track that this album would be remembered for is the only other non-Brazilian tune, Burt Bacharach's "The Look of Love," in an inventive, grandiose arrangement with a simplified bossa beat. The tune just laid there on the album until Mendes and company performed it on the Academy Awards telecast in 1968. The performance was a sonic disaster, but no matter; the public response was huge, a single was released, and it become a monster, number four on the pop charts. So much for the reported demise of bossa nova; in Sergio Mendes' assimilating, reshaping hands, allied with Herb Alpert's flawless production, it was still a gold mine. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Amazing vocals

LOOK AROUND is on one of those albums we used to play over and over when we'd drive over to Lake Shore Drive ( Chicago) and park! Heavy make out music! :-) The overall musicianship on this and all of Sergio Mendes' albums never disappoints, and you can count on Lani Hall's sweet, clean and emotional vocals to comeplete the package. Pop this one in the cd player when you and your honey want to get in the mood! The Look of Love, an all time favorite, and so beautiful! Not too many singers out here like that now. Brigado~!

Phenomenal -- Great Tunes and Great Musicianship -- FLAWLESS

If I could give out six stars for this album, I would. And that puts this in some very high-level territory: right up there with Traffic's "Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" and Elton John's "Tumbleweed Connection." A masterpiece. Every song on this album is a winner. Don't give up on Pra Dizer Adeus, either. Stay with it, and you'll be rewarded with a most amazing ending. This album is about 40 years old and there are few who have ever matched this level of brilliance.

The Beautiful Lani Hall

The albums that Sergio Mendes did so well would not exist if it weren't for Herb Alpert of A&M Records (and of course Tijuana Brass) and Lani Hall. All three musicians created a sound which needs to be heard over and over. Positive, upbeat, creative. To this day, 40 years after hearing Lani Hall, I haven't heard anybody just like her. They did a song from another album, Scarborough Faire, and it's essentially one verse repeated for a few minutes. Simple as could be, but Lani and Sergio Mendes keep it interesting all the way through.

Look Around, Brasil '66
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Customer Ratings