Sergio Mendes (1941)

Pianist and leader Sergio Mendes was born on February 11, 1941, in Niterol, Brazil, near Rio de Janeiro.

Originally, Sergio Mendes planned to become a classical pianist, but he turned towards jazz and was working in nightclubs by the late 1950s.

Mendes was part of the Brazilian bossa-nova movement, forming the Sexteto Bossa Rio in 1961.

In his early period, he was a jazz pianist, recording with Herbie Mann in Brazil (1962), Cannonball Adderley (during a visit to New York later that year), and Paul Winter (1964) in addition to making his own Brazilian jazz recordings; his album The Swinger From Rio from late-1964 featured Art Farmer, Hubert Laws and Phil Woods.

His music began to change the following year when he led Brazil ’65 which was followed by the more pop-oriented Brasil ’66, a group that was a giant commercial success with its hit “Mais Que Nada.”

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Sergio Mendes’ group, which featured two vocalists, had additional hits with “The Look Of Love,” “The Fool On The Hill” and “Scarborough Fair.”

The pianist has continued leading bands on an occasional basis in the decades since Brazil ’66.

Here is Sergio Mendes performing “Mas Que Nada” with Brazil ‘66 on an Eartha Kitt television special from 1967.

Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 – Mais que nada (introduced by Eartha Kitt / Something Special 1967)

Personnel:

Sergio Mendes, piano, vocals
Lani Hall, vocals
Bibi Vogel, vocals
Bob Matthews, bass
Joao Palma, drums
Jose Soares, percussion

Biografia

Filho de um médico, Mendes estudou música no conservatório de sua cidade natal, Niterói, Brasil,34 com a esperança de se tornar um pianista clássico. Com o aumento do interesse pelo jazz, começou a tocar em casas noturnas na década de 1950, época em que nasceu a bossa nova. Tocou com Antonio Carlos Jobim (considerado professor de Mendes) e com vários jazzistas americanos que visitaram o Brasil.

Mais tarde, em 1961, formou o Bossa Rio Sextet e gravou o álbum “Dance Moderno”. Em turnê pela Europa e Estados Unidos, gravou discos com Cannonball Adderley, Herbie Mann e até tocou no Carnegie Hall. Ele se estabeleceu definitivamente nos Estados Unidos em 1964, onde gozou de grande popularidade e até ofereceu ‘shows’ para os presidentes Lyndon B. Johnson e Richard Nixon.

Seu ‘hit’ mais importante é uma versão da música de Jorge Ben Jor: ‘Máis que nada’. Em 2006 ele tocaria esse sucesso com o The Black Eyed Peas.

Participou da criação da trilha sonora do filme Rio, lançado em 2011, na qual interpretou esta famosa canção com sua esposa Gracinha Leporace junto com seu grupo Brasil ’66, sucesso musical de 1967; adaptou uma nova versão chamada ‘Mas que Nada (Rio Version)’ especialmente para o filme. Também lhe rendeu a primeira indicação ao Oscar, por sua participação na composição da música Real in Rio, tema principal do filme.

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Discografia

  • Dance moderno (1961) LP/CD
  • Quiet nights (1963) LP
  • Você ainda não ouviu nada Sérgio Mendes & Bossa Rio (1963) LP/CD
  • The Swinger from Rio (1964) LP/CD
  • Bossa Nova York Sérgio Mendes Trio (1964) LP/CD
  • Cannonbal’s bossa nova with Bossa Rio (1964) LP/CD
  • In person at El Matador-Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’65 (1964) LP/CD
  • Brasil ’65 Wanda de Sah Featuring The Sérgio Mendes Trio (1965) LP/CD
  • The Great Arrival (1966) LP/CD
  • Herb Alpert Presents Sérgio Mendes & Brazil ’66 (1966) LP/CD
  • Equinox – Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 (1967) LP/CD
  • The Beat of Brazil (1967) LP/CD
  • Sérgio Mendes Favorite Things (1968) LP/CD
  • Look Around – Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66 (1968) LP/CD
  • The Fool on The Hill -Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66 (1968) LP/CD
  • Crystal Illusions – Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66 (1969) LP/CD
  • Greatest Hits – Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66 – (1970) LP
  • Ye-me-lê – Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66 (1970) LP/CD
  • Live at Expo’ 70 – Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66 (1970) LP/CD
  • Stillness – Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66, 1971) LP/CD
  • País tropical – Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’77 (1971, LP/CD
  • Primal Roots (AKA Raíces) – Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’77 (1972) LP/CD
  • Love Music – Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’77 (1973) LP/CD
  • In Concert – Sérgio Mendes & Brasil’ 77 (1973) LP
  • Vintage 74 – Sérgio Mendes & Brasil’ 77 (1974) LP/CD
  • Sérgio Mendes – (1975) LP/CD
  • Homecooking – Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’77 (1976) LP/CD
  • Sérgio Mendes & And the New Brasil ’77 – (1977) LP/CD
  • Brasil ’78– (1978) LP/CD
  • Pelé – (Original Soundtrack) (1978) LP/CD
  • Magic Lady (1979) LP/CD
  • Horizonte Aberto – (1979) LP/CD
  • Alegria – (1980) LP/CD
  • Picardía – (1983) LP/CD
  • Sérgio Mendes – (1983) LP/CD
  • Confetti – (1984) LP/CD
  • Brasil ’86 – (1986) LP/CD
  • Arara – (1989) LP/CD
  • Brasileiro – (1992) CD
  • Océano – (1996) CD
  • Timeless – (2006) CD
  • Encanto – (2008) CD
  • Bon Tempo (2010)CD
  • Tristeza de nos dois – Sergio Mendes & Joao Gilberto (2012) CD
  • Magic – Sergio Mendes (2014) CD
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