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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on June 17, 2002
This CD is one of my favourites. The musicians Mendes has assembled are superb and the songs are infectious. If the music doesn't lift your spirits, check your pulse!
The CD comes with terrific notes about how the album was created and outlining the styles and dances each song employs. It begins and ends with 100 Brasilian percussionists thundering out their unique rhythms in a parking lot, capturing what you would hear on the streets of Rio during Carnaval.
I love the Brasilian take on rap in "What Is This?" Beats the heck out of any other rap I've heard.
Other outstanding tracks include
Magalenha, featuring solo singer, 9 voice chorus and 15 piece percussion group
Indiado, integrating Brasilian, reggae and African rhythms, and supplementing the Brasilian musicians with L.A. guitar/bass/drums and Sergio playing synthesized funky horns on his keyboard.
Lua Soberana, written by the Brasilian songwriting team Lins and Martins, has a wonderful female vocal
But, every track is terrific!
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on April 27, 2002
This is NOT the Sergio Mendes of Brasil '66, great as that group was. And yet it IS the same Sergio. What I always liked about Brasil '66 was that if you listen carefully to even their soft-pop songs (as well as their more ambitious ventures), you can hear Sergio's exquisite attention to detail, to arrangements that were complex and inventive even when they fit a rather limited pop bossa nova formula. That attention and inventiveness are in full force here, but in "Brasileiro" Sergio abandons any formula except that of capturing authentic Brasilian sound in all its variety and energy. To accomplish that he has brought together an incredible ensemble of Brazilian musicians and songwriters (with help in the studio by a small band of Americans). The result is an album that throbs and pulses with Rio carnival intensity, soothes with beauty, and soars with joy. It is also the kind of album that can make you want to immerse yourself further in Brasilian music by discovering other artists from that country.
I especially enjoy the percussion-based songs of the writer-singer-drummer Carlinhos Brown (try the first three tracks). Although I am no fan of hip-hop, Carmen Alice's Brasilian adaptation of the form on "What is This?" (Track 4) is a charming winner. The subsequent songs by Brasilian writers Lins, Martin, Gulinga, Pascoal and Bosco are more lyrical and at moments can even remind one (barely) of Sergio's earlier sounds, but he has left his bossa nova days in the dust with this amazing, knockout performance. Buy it! And if you don't like it check your pulse to make sure you still have one.
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on August 6, 2003
Sergio Mendes started out in Brazil as a young and highly regarded arranger. In 1965 he put together an international band and had a number of huge pop hits that combined traditional Brazilian rhythms and songs with American pop, and for a few years he was one of the most popular acts in the world. But the American and European infatuation with watered down Brazilian music faded as the British invasion began in earnest, and Mendes and his various bands fade from public view.
With this album, though, Mendes has returned to a very basic and completely authentic Brazilian sound- far more authentic than the original Brasil '65 band. And it's an absolute treat. The sound of Carnival just echos through this album, and if you close your eyes you can imagine yourself in the middle of it all on the streets and beaches of Rio. Highly recommended for fans of Brazilian music, fans of Mendes, and people who just like to dance.
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on February 28, 1999
The fourth and fifth albums (that's right, albums) I ever bought were both Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66. I loved his earliest Brazilian based tunes. I lost favor with his "lounge act" material of the 70's, but even during that time every now and then a gem of a song would appear. When I reluctantly purchased "Brasileiro" I was hoping for more of the '66 SM than the 70's SM. Boy was I pleased with what I heard. This is his best since "Look Around" (which is my all-time favorite of his). With the opening drums of "Fanfarra" the recording and production were killer! I was blown away with the Brasilian rap on "What Is This?", but got completely funked out with "Magano". Like so many of his earlier songs, I found myself singing (phonetically as I only know English) the words to this song as I walked down the hall. (If anyone knows what the "hook" line to "Magano" means, please let me know what I've been singing for months). If the beat doesn't get you the syncopated rhythms will. Once you've recovered from this the haunting melody of "Chorado" will not leave your head either. It was wonderful to have the old Sergio Mendes back. If he ever gets stuck in a groove again, I hope it is as well done as this. Thanks Sergio!
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on June 14, 2003
If you don't find yourself picking up a passport and contacting a travel agent after listening to this CD, if only to dream of being in the same place where these musicians sang and played, then you're not listening to the same CD!
I first heard "Magalenha" in the movie "Dance With Me", and the scene in which this plays will have you off your seat! The Afro-Brazillian roots are not at all missed in the selections. The voices are subtle and strong at the same time, the rhythms have you rooted (as they take hold) and moving every part of your body.
It's hard to believe this was released in 1992; it sounds fresher every time I hear it.
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on December 13, 2001
Another toe-tappin' delight! My love for this music goes back to the vinyl version many years ago. In CD form, those drummers literally march out of the speakers. Happy music and vocals - the singers use the beautiful Portuguese language - that needs no translation to make you feel good. While there are numerous South American musicians, the core group come from LA's elite session musicians. Kudos to Mr. Mendes for melding these artists together to create a unique sound.
The fourth track - What is This? - is a rap song gone great! Just one among a group of happy, energetic songs. Enjoy it!!
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on April 8, 2002
I heard this was Sergio's revenge after several questionable records that leaned toward the, shall we say, pop-ier side of Brazilian music.
Aside from track 4 being probably the worst rap song ever (yet with a GREAT groove!) this CD has NO dead wood.
I make all my students buy this who really want to learn about serious brazilian drumming.
IF you can't love this CD, you can't love brazilian music. It's the real deal.
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on August 10, 2000
This music is irresistable. If you grew up more concerned about the crease in your kakis and the cut of the crystal you serve, if you are over-educated and over-paid (even though you complain about the opposite), this is the medicine you need to awaken to what life is reallly about. Hopefully you're tired of lying on your psychaitrist's couch or with your psychiatrist under it. Maybe you've tried wheat grass juice bars and read the great works of modern thinking like the Celestine Prophecy and still nothing has touched your soul the way you long to be touched. Well, Sergio Mendes, long known as a sort of shlock artist himself, has recouperated on this disk and pounds out some tunes that are guaranteed to shake your booty, make you shake your body. You cannot not dance and be alive with this stuff playing. So if you buy it and don't start dancing, proceed immediately to the morgue and may you rest in peace.
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on March 21, 2001
This album is as good today as when it was released. The music is fresh as ever and a real mood lifter. Captures the playfulness and sophistication that is the hallmark of Brazilian music. One of the best albums I own, and I own many. Great job, Sergio!
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on October 21, 1999
I have never quite put SM in same niche with Jobim, Pascal or Nascimento, well, partly because of the "light" nature of his previous recordings. How wrong I was, The first cut of this album virtually "bombed" me out of my prejudices!!. Now I am a SM convert and looking forward to more of his wonderful arrangements. The music in this album speaks for itself, and has a honesty and freshness so missing from contemporary music. And rhythms to kick your lazy self back to enjoy living ! Like the listner from Austin,Tx., I still couldn't bring myself to like the rap number, but I 'll get over that pretty soon. Genuine "Desert Island" stuff.
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