in '68, did Sergio intend to replace Lani with Gracinha Leporace?

Discussion in 'Look Around: Sergio Mendes/Brazilian Music Forum' started by Intuitive Samba, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Intuitive Samba

    Intuitive Samba Member Thread Starter

    I know that the sudden change in the line-up (personnel) in "Brasil '66" that took place in early 1968 has been discussed on this forum before -- but those threads are probably locked by now, I think.

    Anyway ...

    He is a new angle and possible way of thinking about this topic --

    Someone suggested that Lani was actually part of the purge -- not just Janis Hansen, and the other musicians in the first line-up of B'66.
    (And someone posited/mused that he couldn't imagine Lani complaining (like the others were), and I agree.)

    Maybe, just maybe -- Sergio had taken a liking to Gracinha Leporace by early 1968 -- and had her in mind as his preferred lead vocalist.
    For one thing (This is a minor (possible) factor), both Lani and the Brasilian Gracinha had dark hair, so maybe some of the audience might not notice the difference in lead singer. (In fact, it's possible that some B'66 fans might have not known better than to assume, or be under the impression that Lani was, in fact, Brasilian, herself. She seemed (at least to non-Brasilians) to sing the Portuguese lyrics, convincingly.)

    (Obviously, Sergio liked Gracinha Leporace -- because he's been married to her, to this day.)

    Maybe, another line of thinking is that -- by 1968, Sergio felt that he had achieved enough success, fame, momentum, clout -- that he could go back to having an all-Brasilian cast (line-up of band members) and not need an American lead vocalist.

    But, the firing of Brasil '66's first line-up took place right before "Look of Love" became Sergio's 2nd big big hit single, right? (So, it's not like Janis could have had any clout with having sung the lead (verses) on the latest big big hit single. Sergio didn't seem to have trouble replacing her with Karen Phillip, anyway.)

    I dunno -- I'm just a fan who is guessing. I don't have any sources, than my own rational thought processes and whatever body of factual knowledge I have access to.
  2. Intuitive Samba

    Intuitive Samba Member Thread Starter

    Gracinha, of course, sang on (at least one song on) the first album with this new (2nd) line-up: _Fool on the Hill_ -- and a lead vocal, no less (not just backing) -- "Lapinha"

    Furthermore, someone mentioned that Sergio said that Gracinha sang with Lani on the title track of "Ye Me Le."

    By 1969, Bossa Rio released its self-titled debut album, which featured Gracinha Leporace as female lead.
    So, Sergio put that band together (I think) to provide her with a way of trying to reach an American (and world-wide) audience, since she wasn't in Brasil '66, at that point.

    I also recall reading someone mention seeing 3 women -- Lani, Karen, and Gracinha fronting B'66 at a Sergio concert in 1970.
    Maybe that's how Sergio was easing the transition to a new band without Lani -- getting the fans used to seeing Grachina onstage. The switch from Lani to Gracinha ended up taking place by 1971, rather than 3 years earlier, as it turned out.
  3. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    I believe that "Brasil '66", like the "Tijuana Brass", was thought to be a *sound* more than a *band* with specific members.
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  4. Intuitive Samba

    Intuitive Samba Member Thread Starter

    Good insight.
    But the visual image was probably an important part of it, too, maybe?
  5. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    It is true that many of the Brasil '66 albums featured band pictures, even if some of them weren't on the record. We know that Bibi Vogel appeared on the first A&M album but didn't sing a note on the record. And Gracinha, though "introduced" on FOOL ON THE HILL's "Lapinha", didn't appear in any pictures.
  6. Michael Hagerty

    Michael Hagerty Well-Known Member

    The Jazz Times piece on Lani tells the story---they all quit, including Lani. Herb convinced Lani to go get her job back from Sergio (and involved himself in the negotiation). My bet is Lapinha (with Grachina) was recorded while Lani was briefly gone, and the rest of the album was done with Lani back.

    When Lani came back, Grachina was out of Brasil '66, so Sergio whips up Bossa Rio to keep her in his orbit. Two years later, when Lani quits for good (this time, according to the Jazz Times piece, it was Herb's idea), Grachina joins Brasil '66 for STILLNESS and beyond.
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  7. Brasil_Nut

    Brasil_Nut Well-Known Member Moderator

    I was one of a few who mentioned that Lani, Karen and Gracinha sang (live) with the group in its latter days. I recall seeing a concert (circa 1970) with all three.

    That said, I just don't know if all three appeared together on any specific albums. Wish I did know, but I do not.

    Only thing I do know is that (when it comes to all three), Gracinha was officially part of the group starting with Stillness.

    Jon...the Brasil Nut
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  8. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I don't know where it was, but SOMEwhere in the forum long ago there was a post from someone who had talked to Gracinha, and she stated that all three women appeared together in at least a couple of the songs from Stillness. I would bet those songs are "Viramundo," "Celebration of the Sunrise" and possibly "Chelsea Morning." There is a lovely bit of three-part harmony right at the end of "Righteous Life" -- I've always wondered if that was all three of them, too.

    I remember an interview with one of the TJB bandmembers where he stated that Herb was always in the studio tinkering with songs.... maybe Sergio was the same way.
  9. Michael Hagerty

    Michael Hagerty Well-Known Member

    Worth remembering---even if all three voices appear on the same song, that doesn't mean they were necessarily in the studio at the same time.
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  10. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Very true that's the magic of "Studio Wizardry".

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