Sergio Mendes - Bom Tempo (2010)

Sergio Mendes
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As I look back at pop culture during the sixties, I listened to the soul stirring grooves from Motown and Stax Records, the British Invasion led by The Beatles and the Southern California-style rock of The Beach Boys.  There was also a unique sound injecting Latin flair with pop sensibility, which produced several top forty hits throughout the sixties; all from A&M Records.  The label's lineup at the time included Herb Alpert (A&M co-founder) & The Tijuana Brass, The Baja Marimba Band and Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66.  During Mendes' tenure with A&M, his trademark smooth bossa nova produced successful cover versions of The Beatles' "Fool on the Hill," "The Look of Love" from the 1967 James Bond flick Casino Royale, and Otis Redding's trademark "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay."  Ironically, Mendes' claim to fame was "Mas Que Nada," another hit by fellow Brazilian Jorge Ben.   Even though Mendes continues to build upon his international fan base
As I look back at pop culture during the sixties, I listened to the soul stirring grooves from Motown and Stax Records, the British Invasion led by The Beatles and the Southern California-style rock of The Beach Boys.  There was also a unique sound injecting Latin flair with pop sensibility, which produced several top forty hits throughout the sixties; all from A&M Records.  The label's lineup at the time included Herb Alpert (A&M co-founder) & The Tijuana Brass, The Baja Marimba Band and Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66.  During Mendes' tenure with A&M, his trademark smooth bossa nova produced successful cover versions of The Beatles' "Fool on the Hill," "The Look of Love" from the 1967 James Bond flick Casino Royale, and Otis Redding's trademark "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay."  Ironically, Mendes' claim to fame was "Mas Que Nada," another hit by fellow Brazilian Jorge Ben.   Even though Mendes continues to build upon his international fan base since his early days as a jazz musician, the recordings with Brasil 66 are his main calling card.  The resurrection of the lounge movement in the late nineties and the talents of producer/Black Eyed Peas founder will.i.am have further renewed Mendes' career.  Today, his music is just as relevant as ever; catering to a millennium R&B/hip-hop generation and dance club music fans.

Following Timeless and Encanto (both on Concord Records and co-produced by will.i.am), Mendes takes over all the production duties on his latest disc, Bom Tempo.  Bom Tempo has several gems to choose from: Bossa nova ("Orpheus-Quiet Carnival," "Maracatu {Nation of Love}") Brazilian pop ("Caxanga" featuring Milton Nascimento), tribal beats ("Ye Me Le"), shades of Africa ("Magalenha") and a clever sampling of Brasil 66 favorites "Mas Que Nada" and "The Frog" on "Emorio."  There are a few sore spots including a vocally uninspiring "The Real Thing" (a song written for Mendes by Stevie Wonder) and a lame attempt at classic soul ("You & I").  Despite those few oversights, Bom Tempo is a sweet reminder of how Mendes continues to inspire lovers of pop and urban music with a Latin twist.

Vocals:  2.5 stars
Music:  3.0 stars
Lyrics:  2.5 stars
Production:  3.5 stars
SoulTracks Call:  Recommended

By Peggy Oliver   

       

 

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