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Songs that Sergio should have arranged and Lani should have sung

Discussion in 'Look Around: Sergio Mendes/Brazilian Music Forum' started by Intuitive Samba, Jul 1, 2017.

  1. Intuitive Samba

    Intuitive Samba New Member Thread Starter

    Here is a list of songs that
    should have been recorded with Lani Hall singing
    with a Samba-Jazz -style arrangement (particularly the rhythm section).

    • Title track from Steely Dan's "Aja" (with more energy than the original ; in fact, Steve Gadd has indeed done Samba beats, in other places). I am thinking, the tempo of "Mas Que Nada" or the opening track of Bossa Rio (1969).
    • "Alive and Well and Living In" by Ian Anderson, which appeared on Jethro Tull's Benefit album. (Ian's brilliant "Living in the Past" already has lot of Jazzy Samba elements, too.) The parallel octave male+female vocal (texture/arrangement style) would work great.
    • "From the Beginning" Greg Lake (R.I.P.) appeared on E.L.P.'s Trilogy is pretty much tailor-made for a Samba-Jazz. In fact, no need to change notes. Keith Emerson's synth solo could be played (note-for-note, in fact) by flute. It's modal Jazz ('A' dorian mode). Lani's cool vocal tone/sound double-tracked would be perfect. Sergio could have continued his 1960s style and sound and approach with contemporary hits from the early 1970s. Imagine that!
    • "Martha" by Paul Kantner, appeared on Jefferson Airplane's After Bathing at Baxter's. It has a Samba beat that just needs to be brought out (to the fore-front, and emphasized). Interestingly, the very first drummer of the Airplane (before Skip Spance) was a straight crew-cut marine who didn't fit the band and he played Samba/Latin rhythms on the drums (back in 1965). But Spencer Dreyden was a bit of a (West-coast) Jazz player, himself. The verse of "Martha" is 'A' dorian mode, as well.
    • "Oh Well" by Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac). That could be a given a Samba lilt and be less laden Rock-Blues in style/approach. Lani's voice could be cool, and alluring.
    • "Rock 'n Roll Woman" Buffalo Springfield Again (1967) - Stephen Stills (with some involvement of David Crosby) is sorta modal Jazz harmony (alternating bass between pitches 'F' and 'D'). This would (have) offer(ed) Lani Hall an opportunity to record something that she didn't do with Sergio in the '60s -- vocal harmonies -- as opposed to unison double-tracking of her voice. Imagine rich layers of overdubs -- speaking of which ...
    • "South Side of the Sky" by Yes (Fragile). The middle would be challenging with unusual metres (rhythmic patterns). David Crosby, with his Jazz influences would have been good for that.
  2. Intuitive Samba

    Intuitive Samba New Member Thread Starter

    There is one Beatle song that would sound _great_ with Lani Hall's lead vocals - George Harrison's "Don't Bother Me." This is especially a good match for Lani Hall's vocals being double-tracked, in particular, just like how the Brasil '66 records were produced. In fact, Sergio did four Beatle covers - the most famous of which was "Fool on the Hill." Those were all Lennon-McCartney songs.
    I imagine that if a producer was going to pair Lani with a George Harrison -penned Beatle song, it probably would be "Something" or "Here Comes the Sun." But "Don't Bother Me" seems perfect for a Brasil '66 -style arrangement. In fact, I think that the (hint of , implied) Latin/Samba rhythm is already there, but should be emphasized (brought out) more.
    I read that George Martin had an idea that Calypso would be the next big musical style - before meeting the Beatles in 1962. I get the names of various Latin-American rhythms and musical styles mixed up. I now know that Samba and Bossa Nova are particularly Brazillian styles. I get mixed up between "Afro-Cuban" Mambo, Tango, Salsa, etc. Those others are from Spanish-speaking countries, right?
  3. Well, it wasn't Lani Hall, but Sergio Mendes & his Brasil '77 did a version of "Something" paired with "Daytripper" at live concerts. At least one version was recorded on something called GOLD DISC and/or CARNIVAL-LIVE IN JAPAN. I don't have an original, but rather a CD-R that was made for me. See also:

    AOTW: Sergio Mendes & Brasil '77 GOLD DISC / CARNAVAL-LIVE IN JAPAN
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
    Intuitive Samba likes this.
  4. JMK

    JMK Well-Known Member Contributor

    Sergio did Here Comes the Sun on his first Elektra release.
  5. Intuitive Samba

    Intuitive Samba New Member Thread Starter

    Here's another song: "Black Cat" from Gentle Giant's second album, Acquiring the Taste (1971). That's a light, charming, Jazzy pop song. Lani's voice would be good for that one. (Of course, maybe I should say that Lani's voice would be good for thousands of songs - but maybe not any or all, after all.)

    There's another song from early Gentle Giant -- "Nothing at All." That was first recorded on the band's self-titled debut album in 1970. The gender/sex of the lyrics would probably be changed from "she" to "he." (Kinda like what was done for the lyrics of "Norwegian Wood" on Ye Me Le.)

    For those who don't know about G.G., most of the classic material by the band was based on compositions by Kerry Minnear. However, early melodic pop songs (like the two I listed) were written by the Shulman brothers who founded the band. On a related note, Kerry Minnear's writing uses lots of modal (Jazz-like) harmony. In that way, there is a connection with the (often-Modal) Jazz harmony in the music of Sergio Mendes.
  6. TulitaPepsi

    TulitaPepsi Member

    "Dindi" would be my first choice. I can even hear it in my mind!

    John, our "BrasilNut" told me he heard Sergio perform it in concert some time ago, but not with Lani.

    Janet Jackson's "Runaway" has a real Brasil '66 vibe to it and I would love to hear Sergio & Lani's take on it.
  7. Intuitive Samba

    Intuitive Samba New Member Thread Starter

    Classic Brasilian song, yes.

    I listened to the studio recording (1995). The main riff uses basic triads (chords): A-flat Maj., G-flat Maj., and "B-flat" minor. Maybe a better fit for Brasil '88 or more recent (stylistically) than the classic '60s ?
  8. Intuitive Samba

    Intuitive Samba New Member Thread Starter

    I recently realized that Cream's "I Feel Free" actually has a Samba rhythm (or some kinda Latin beat?).
    The vocal intro has two parts, and it would be great to hear Lani sing that arrangement. On the classic Brasil '66 records, Lani's only vocal arr. texture is unison (double-track vocals), right? She never did harmony, right (at least in B66)?
  9. JMK

    JMK Well-Known Member Contributor

    There are numerous examples of harmony in all of the B66 albums, though it's sometimes difficult to discern which woman is singing what. Janis specifically told me she sang some of the backups on the Look Around album (as well as lead on Look of Love, obviously), but there are other times (I'm thinking of the first two albums especially) when I'm assuming the harmonies are double tracked.

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