Sérgio Mendes and Brasil ’66: selected recordings, 1966 to 1970


Excerpts from “A Brief Biography of Brasil ’66,” at brasil66.com:

Arriving on A&M Records’ doorstep in 1966, Sérgio Mendes and Brasil ’66 were signed to a record deal by Herb Alpert, whose enthusiastic response enabled their immediate success. Blending Brazilian, jazz and American popular styles, Brasil ’66 became known for their unique, innovative sound. While Mendes was the lively pianist, arranger, producer and musical director, it was Chicago-bred vocalist Lani Hall who gave the group the finesse that ensured their success on the pop music charts. Lani is equally at home singing in English, Spanish and Portuguese…

The original Brasil ’66 lineup, as recorded on the first three A&M albums, consisted of Mendes on piano and keyboards, Lani Hall and Janis Hansen on vocals, Jose Soares on Latin percussion, Bob Matthews on bass and Joao Palma on drums. Tijuana Brass guitarist John Pisano plays guitar starting with Equinox. Starting with Fool On The Hill, the Brasil ’66 lineup would include Mendes, Lani Hall and vocalist Karen Phillips, with a completely new rhythm section consisting of Sebastiao Neto, Dom Um Romao, Rubens Bassini and Oscar Castro Neves.


The following recordings were all released as singles in the U.S. between 1966 and 1970, except for You Stepped Out of a Dream (from Crystal Illusions, 1969) and Ye-Me-Lê (title track, second 1969 album). However, Ye-Me-Lê was the B-side of the 1969 single Wichita Lineman, A&M 1132-S.

Sérgio Mendes and Brasil '66-original lineup with Lani Hall and Bibi Vogel-1

1966-Brasil '66-Herb Alpert Presents-1

Mas Que Nada (Jorge Ben) – from the first Brasil ’66 album, Herb Alpert Presents, 1966

Promotional video, 1966


On a show called Something Special (TV), introduced by Eartha Kitt, 1967


Live, 1969


sergio-mendes-1aSérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66 discography

note: These dates (from Wikipedia) are not reliable. The year of release for Look Around is given as 1967 in one place and 1968 in another. The last album, Stillness, is given with three different release years in different places: ’69, ’70 and ’71. I’ll try to correct any errors, soon.

Day Tripper (Lennon-McCartney) – from the album Herb Alpert Presents – 1966


Goin’ Out of My Head (Teddy Randazzo, Bobby Weinstein) – Herb Alpert Presents – 1966

From The Hollywood Palace, season 5, episode 13 — airdate: 12 December 1967

The episode is hosted by Herb Alpert. Musical performers include Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Burt Bacharach, Wes Montgomery, Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart, Liza Minnelli, and The Baja Marimba Band.


three from the 1967 album Equinox

Constant Rain (Chove Chuva) (Jorge Ben / Norman Gimbel)


Night and Day (Cole Porter)


For Me — English version of the 1965 song “Arrastão” (m. Edu Lobo, w. Vinícius de Morais), with English lyric by Norman Gimbel


(below) lip-sync performance from The Hollywood Palace, season 5, episode 13 — airdate: 12 December 1967; hosted by Herb Alpert


1968 The Look of Love (A&M 924) Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66

The Look of Love (m. Burt Bacharach, w. Hal David) — In the US, the recording first appeared on the group’s album Look Around, issued in March 1968. For reasons which escape me, the video creator chose to feature pictures of the earlier Brasil ’66 LP, Equinox.

In April 1968, it was released as the US single A&M 924, and soared all the way to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.


With a Little Help From My Friends (Lennon-McCartney) – Look Around – 1967



Fool On the Hill (Lennon-McCartney) – from the 1968 album Fool On the Hill, (US) A&M SP-4160 — also issued in July 1968 on the single A&M 961, b/w “So Many Stars”


The recording of “Fool On the Hill” by Sérgio Mendes and Brasil ’66, released on the album of the same title and on the single A&M 961, features various organ and other electric keyboard parts, presumably played by Mendes, though I’ve been unable to detect any piano. Nevertheless, Mendes gleefully plays an acoustic piano throughout the following lip-sync performance for an unidentified TV appearance. Perhaps he was playing piano lines similar to those he played in the live performance of the song released on the album Live at Expo ’70 (see below).


live at Expo ’70, Osaka, 5 April 1970 —  from the album Live at Expo ’70, (UK) A&M Records AMLS 989

(audio only) “Fool on the Hill” begins at about 24:07 in the video below, following “Day Tripper.”


Scarborough Fair (traditional) – Fool on the Hill – 1968


Pretty World (Antonio Adolfo, Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, Tiberio Gaspar) – Crystal Illusions – 1969


Ye-Me-Lê (Luís Carlos Vinhas, Chico Feitosa) – title track, Ye-Me-Lê – 1969 (lyrics) — Ye-Me-Lê was also issued on the 1969 single A&M 1132-S, as the B-side of Wichita Lineman


Wichita Lineman (Jimmy Webb)


You Stepped Out of a Dream (m. Nacio Herb Brown, w. Gus Kahn)Crystal Illusions – 1969


For What It’s Worth (Stephen Stills) from the final Brasil ’66 album, Stillness – 1970



Chelsea Morning (Joni Mitchell) – Stillness – 1970


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