Mendes formed the Sexteto Bossa Rio and recorded Dance Moderno in 1961. Touring Europe and the United States, Mendes recorded albums with Cannonball Adderley and Herbie Mann and played Carnegie Hall. Mendes moved to the U.S. in 1964 and cut two albums under the Brasil ’65 group name with Capitol Records and Atlantic Records.
When sales were tepid, he replaced his Brazilian born vocalist Wanda de Sa with the distinctive voice of Chicago native Lani Hall (who learned Mendes’ Portuguese material phonetically), switched to Herb Alpert‘s A&M label, and released Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66, an album that went platinum based largely on the success of the single “Mas Que Nada” (a Jorge Ben cover) and the personal support of Alpert, with whom Mendes toured regularly.
Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66. Top row, left to right: Laudir DeOliveira, Sebastiao Neto (middle row) Rubens Bassini, Claudio Slon (bottom row) Lani Hall, Sergio Mendez, Karen Philipp.
February 21, 2009
Performed on US television, 1969.
Sergio Mendes, Lani Hall and Karen Philipp.