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Encanto

Sergio Mendes

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Album Review

Though he's always been at the front of the show, Sergio Mendes has often gotten by with the help of his friends. As in 1965, so in 2008. The newest update of Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 — feel free to call it Brasil '08 — has a varied cast, led by co-producer will.i.am, who adapts his style well to urban and Brazilian forms. It also includes will.i.am's Black Eyed Peas bandmate Fergie, doing "The Look of Love" in a version that may never reach the heights of the original, but never becomes as embarrassing as "My Humps." Surprisingly, it's a good performance from Fergie; although she never approaches the sultriness of Dusty Springfield's original, her quick-paced singing on the verses is some kind of career highlight. Elsewhere, Mendes deserves most of the credit, especially since will.i.am only bookends the album (he produces the first two tracks and the last two). Encanto makes room for a parade of excellent musicians, including Carlinhos Brown, Ledisi, Natalie Cole, and Herb Alpert. (Not to be left out is the rhythm section, anchored by bass veterans Alphonso Johnson or Liminha.) The material breezes over quite a few Brazilian classics of the bossa nova era, and gives them just enough freshness to sound new. "Waters of March," with Johnson's nimble bass, makes room for a fine Ledisi vocal (granted, it's difficult to fail on that song). Mendes takes several solos on acoustic piano or Rhodes, best on the Herb Alpert feature "Dreamer." Overall, Encanto is a difficult record to judge; from the cover and the first two tracks, it appears to be urban all the way. The bulk of the album, however, is modern Brazilian jazz-fusion with an array of excellent musicians. Hopefully, its two potential audiences — dance or hip-hop fans and Latin jazz listeners — aren't steered away from it by thinking it's only concerned with one or the other.

Customer Reviews

Perfect Mix!

I really love this album. It's a great mix of Samba and hip hop (good hip hop). Sergio Mendes is an amazing artist, and he's obviously done it again, this album is just as fun and festive as Timeless. Great job!!

Sergio Mendes for the 00s

If you only know Sergio Mendes from your parents' vinyl, or if you like a Latin beat but consider him to be too old-fashioned, give this a listen. It's up to date and smooth with some good guest artists (will.i.am. Fergie, Juanes.) This is great music to kick off a Saturday night drinks party or put on for a Sunday gathering.

EarCandy!

I loooooove Catavento, Funky Bahia and Waters of March. Such smooth rhythmic sounds. Catavento is a more bosa nova easy listening sound, Lugar Comum...nice! Sergio is timeless and has remained consistent and true to capturing the music of Brazil. He is an icon that has never had to re-invent himself and will always have great music with great vibes that will be sampled forever. I heart this CD!

Biography

Born: February 11, 1941 in Niteroi, Brazil

Genre: Brazilian

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

For most of the second half of the '60s, Sergio Mendes was the top-selling Brazilian artist in the United States, charting huge hit singles and LPs that regularly made the Top Five. His records with his group, Brasil '66, regularly straddled the domestic pop and international markets in America, getting played heavily on AM radio stations, both rock and easy listening, and he gave his label, A&M, something to offer light jazz listeners beyond the work of the...
Full Bio