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Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66
"Fool On The Hill"

© A&M/Verve

August 27 - 02, 2017

Year of Release: 1968
Rating:
  • The Fool On The Hill
  • Festa
  • Casa Forte
  • Canto Triste
  • Upa Neguiho
  • Lapinha
  • Scarborough Fair
  • When Summer Turns To Snow
  • Lala Ladala (Reza)

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    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
    A Brazillian musician, Sergio Mendes has been making music since 1960. His group, Brasil '66, captured was his primary success. In 1968, Fool On The Hill was released. It was named after The Beatles' song of the same name. The album reached #1 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart, for a total of 12 weeks. Not only is this album classified as "Jazz," it is more of Latin Jazz, and Bossa Nova Jazz. It is a very good album to listen to, for the traditional Jazz fan.

    If there's a challenge, it would be to cover a Beatles song. Not just that, but recording it, in a different style than the Beatles' original. "The Fool On The Hill" as Jazz? Mendes and company took this song as their own. And quite naturally, this version would be one of the best covers of Beatles songs.

    "Festa" would be also a different jazz, more of smooth jazz, which would be much popular more in later decades. "Casa Forte" sounds more like a (Carlos) Santana instrumental track, as it meets Jazz.

    "Canto Triste" is more laid back, and a nice latin jazz sounding track. More on the Latin/Bossa Nova, with "Upa, Neguinho," and also, the upbeat "Lapinha."

    In the same outcome as the Beatles' title track, Simon & Garfunkel's "Scarborough Fair" is another very impressive cover in jazz, as it is more upbeat than the S&G original version. "When Summer Turns To Snow" is more of a Sinatra style. The album ends with another upbeat Latin/Bossa Nova track, "Laia Ladaia (Reza)."

    Not only does the Latin/Bossa Nova style is worth listening to, it is also the female singers that truly makes it an outstanding Jazz album. Two female singers, Karen Philipp and Lani Hall, sing distinctively as true female jazz singers. And if they ever recorded an entire album together, it would be worth having. Philipp remained with Brasil '66 (and its successor group, Brasil '77) until 1972. She also became an actress, appearing on TV shows, such as M*A*S*H and Quincy, M.E.. Hall was the lead vocalist for Mendes' Brasil '66. She released a solo album in 1972, Sundown Lady. She may be best known for singing the theme to the 1983 James Bond film, Never Say Never Again -- "The Windmills Of Your Mind." In 1988, she retired, but recorded another solo album in 1988, Brasil Nativo. She has recorded numerous albums, a total of 22 in different languages. She is married to famous producer Herb Alpert, and appeared in three albums together with him. Speaking of vocals, Sergio Mendes provides vocals, as he sings on the Sinatra-styled "When Summer Turns to Snow," with Lani Hall.

    Great Jazz music here on Fool On The Hill, as Sergio Mendes has proven himself to be one of Jazz's finest. He has recorded since 1960, and is still active. He would achieve another #1 Jazz album, released in 2008, Encanto. His most recent album was released in 2014, Magic.

    His version of "The Fool On The Hill" is one of the finest covers of a Beatle song. You'll want to hear more, and listening to the rest of the album fits in well. We'll have the review of Encanto at a later date.


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