Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 Line-Up Changes

The Ambassador

Active Member
Thread Starter
Hello All,

I've been more a lurker on this forum for years, but right now I'm working on a 6,000 word story about Sergio Mendes (as well as 1,500 story about Lani Hall) for Wax Poetics magazine to cover his early career through 1968, circa Look Around. Of course, the juiciest bit of the story is WHY Sergio and his first line-up parted ways and WHAT if anything is on-record about this band break-up. Someone on here mentioned that Janis Hansen talks about it in The Carnival reissue CD liner notes . . . anything else aside from hearsay that I might be able to reference about this?

Also, does anyone out there have a copy of this The Carnival reissue CD and would be kind enough to scan and email me the liner notes? You can send to me at allenthayer at gmail dot com.

For what it's worth (Stillness, reference LOL) this is what Lani told me recently about the split:
"They were ready to leave and they wanted to start another band together and they wanted me to come with them and I didn’t think it was such a great idea. People weren’t happy and they wanted to change it and I think it hurt Sergio. I think I said, I’ll do it, but then I thought about it and said, ‘nah, I don’t wanna do this.’"

"There was no group. Everybody left. The band fell apart. I think Sergio went to Herb for counsel, saying, ‘so I don’t think we have this group anymore, so I’m not sure what this is going to mean, and then Herb encouraged Sergio to put another group together and that’s when Sebastiao Neto and Rubens Bassini and Dom Um Romao and then he hired Karen Philipp who became the other girl singer and then there we were, another group now."

Thanks and I would love to hear people's thoughts, though I've already read LOTS of them on various threads on this forum already!

Obrigado, Allen
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Hello Allen,

I've scanned the relevant portion of the Rev-Ola Carnival reissue liner notes and will post them right here in the forum. I'll explain that these notes are unwieldy in that they are printed on a huge insert in the jewel case that's folded over many times. The notes are interspersed with some rather blurry photos. The other side of this one-sheet has images of singles, press clippings etc. The notes were written by a Steve Stanley who lists his organization as thenowpeople.com with his first name as part of the email address, in May 2004.

Furthermore, the liner notes were printed as white text on black background. Rather than display all that negative text here, I've reversed the colors in Photoshop so that it can be black on white. You can see where folds occurred. The liner notes go on for a few more columns that are mostly about how they came to World Pacific Records and how Bones Howe created the Carnival sound. I believe the relevant portion is below.

carnivalnotes1.jpg
carnivalnotes2.jpg
carnivalnotes3.jpg
carnivalnotes4.jpg
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
I always thought that The Carnival might have had better success with a different producer. Bones Howe tried to make them sound like a Brazilian Fifth Dimension, but it didn't really work.

Bones Howe would later go on to work with Sergio Mendes for his two albums for the Bell label in the early '70s, but by that time any inclination to create another Fifth Dimension had gone away and he was able to make a couple of decent albums that tread very close to MOR territory, but still managed to sound like Sergio Mendes records, albeit fairly bland ones compared to his early A&M albums.
 

The Ambassador

Active Member
Thread Starter
Tremendous, Harry! Many thanks for these scans. This is just what I was looking for. I had always heard that the break-up was acrimonious, but according to my interview with Sergio, he just said:

“They wanted to go home, some of them left to do other things, that’s the nature of bands, you know”
And then Lani had her response that I shared in my original post. I even heard that law-suits were filed and was considering researching that angle. Anyone have ideas about that?

I'll share details about the magazine article when it's finished, later this Spring/Summer!

Best,

Allen

Hello Allen,

I've scanned the relevant portion of the Rev-Ola Carnival reissue liner notes and will post them right here in the forum. I'll explain that these notes are unwieldy in that they are printed on a huge insert in the jewel case that's folded over many times. The notes are interspersed with some rather blurry photos. The other side of this one-sheet has images of singles, press clippings etc. The notes were written by a Steve Stanley who lists his organization as thenowpeople.com with his first name as part of the email address, in May 2004.

Furthermore, the liner notes were printed as white text on black background. Rather than display all that negative text here, I've reversed the colors in Photoshop so that it can be black on white. You can see where folds occurred. The liner notes go on for a few more columns that are mostly about how they came to World Pacific Records and how Bones Howe created the Carnival sound. I believe the relevant portion is below.

View attachment 6364
View attachment 6365
View attachment 6366
View attachment 6367
 

The Ambassador

Active Member
Thread Starter
Of all of Sergio's output "Love Music" is my LEAST favorite album as it has the fewest Brazilian tunes (one, by the obscure Nelson Angelo). I always thought of that one as the pendulum swinging back HARD after the very Brazilian "Primal Roots". The other Bones production, "Vintage 74" is much better with some choice Brazilian compositions and several Stevie Wonder tunes, which is fine by me.

Yeah, it seems that the idea of a Brazilian Fifth Dimension might have had more success just a couple years earlier, but by 1969 it was just going to be a dated sound!

Thanks all,

Allen

I always thought that The Carnival might have had better success with a different producer. Bones Howe tried to make them sound like a Brazilian Fifth Dimension, but it didn't really work.

Bones Howe would later go on to work with Sergio Mendes for his two albums for the Bell label in the early '70s, but by that time any inclination to create another Fifth Dimension had gone away and he was able to make a couple of decent albums that tread very close to MOR territory, but still managed to sound like Sergio Mendes records, albeit fairly bland ones compared to his early A&M albums.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Maybe you haven't heard the Magic Lady album....? That's my least favorite Sergio. It's about as far from his "sound" as you could possibly get. Even the much maligned rap tunes on Timeless (and everything since) have more charm than that album does, in my book!
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Well, one thing's for sure, Janice's recollections sure move the Herb & Lani timeline up (referring to Lani as Herb's girlfriend)... In any event, Lani's and Sergio's responses above seem guarded -- which makes sense given they have a legacy to protect. It's unknown if Hansen had an axe to grind (some of her details seem over-the-top to me) in the interview for the Carnival CD re-issue; but, one thing remains certain, her timeline should be regarded as very accurate: given her tenure with B66 came to a screeching halt, it's doubtful such a life-changing circumstance was indelible.
I always thought that The Carnival might have had better success with a different producer
Agreed. Despite getting a chance to finally hear Janice's readily identifiable voice, that Carnival CD was a major disappointment (covering Turn!, Turn!, Turn! with the spirit of a piano bar lounge act was the LP's nadir for me).
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
(referring to Lani as Herb's girlfriend)
Well, Herb and Lani were probably spending a lot of time together by that point, since he was coproducing their albums, and he has said they became good friends. So it's possible Janis figured (in her own perception) that she was his girlfriend even before that was "officially" the case. A lot happened in those couple of years with Sergio, Herb, Lani, and both of the bands involved.
 

TjbBmb

Well-Known Member
Well, Herb and Lani were probably spending a lot of time together by that point, since he was coproducing their albums, and he has said they became good friends. So it's possible Janis figured (in her own perception) that she was his girlfriend even before that was "officially" the case. A lot happened in those couple of years with Sergio, Herb, Lani, and both of the bands involved.
They were probably a “secret couple” at that point because Herb was still married. Herb referenced this with a laugh a couple times in recent interviews and concerts.
 

TjbBmb

Well-Known Member
I think it’s naive to think just because they Herb was still married and making public appearances with his wife that he wasn’t “fooling around” with Lani.

But I wasn’t there, so who knows.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
A lot happened in those couple of years with Sergio, Herb, Lani, and both of the bands involved
Good point. B66 was touring a great deal -- alongside TJB at times -- and I'm sure it's safe bet that Janice and Lani roomed together on the road and so they probably became aware of more personal details of each other's lives.
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
I think it’s naive to think just because they Herb was still married and making public appearances with his wife that he wasn’t “fooling around” with Lani.

But I wasn’t there, so who knows.
It Really isn't any of our Buisness and Getting back on topic regardless of the Brasil 66 personnel changes the reasons the whys and what forms Don't really matter now what matters is Sergio and His Groups always evolved and changed with the times and even better In the 80s when Sergio returned to A&M Its safe to say any past hard feelings were put aside by all concerned and Sergio had a few more hits and as with many artists I find there are always standout songs to be found and enjoyed on every release.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
Well, one thing's for sure, Janice's recollections sure move the Herb & Lani timeline up (referring to Lani as Herb's girlfriend)... In any event, Lani's and Sergio's responses above seem guarded -- which makes sense given they have a legacy to protect. It's unknown if Hansen had an axe to grind (some of her details seem over-the-top to me) in the interview for the Carnival CD re-issue; but, one thing remains certain, her timeline should be regarded as very accurate: given her tenure with B66 came to a screeching halt, it's doubtful such a life-changing circumstance was indelible.

Agreed. Despite getting a chance to finally hear Janice's readily identifiable voice, that Carnival CD was a major disappointment (covering Turn!, Turn!, Turn! with the spirit of a piano bar lounge act was the LP's nadir for me).
I remember hearing Walk On By and Laia LaDaia on the radio by Carnival back in my youth. I did think that I was hearing Brasil'66 for Walk On By but the dj said it was the Carnival. I never knew the connection between Carnival and Brasil'66-namely Janis Hansen- until I started reading this forum when I first joined the site. I also remember seeing their lp in the cut out bins at record stores but never bought it.
 

GrooveVoyager

New Member
Hello All,

I've been more a lurker on this forum for years, but right now I'm working on a 6,000 word story about Sergio Mendes (as well as 1,500 story about Lani Hall) for Wax Poetics magazine to cover his early career through 1968, circa Look Around. Of course, the juiciest bit of the story is WHY Sergio and his first line-up parted ways and WHAT if anything is on-record about this band break-up. Someone on here mentioned that Janis Hansen talks about it in The Carnival reissue CD liner notes . . . anything else aside from hearsay that I might be able to reference about this?

Also, does anyone out there have a copy of this The Carnival reissue CD and would be kind enough to scan and email me the liner notes? You can send to me at allenthayer at gmail dot com.

For what it's worth (Stillness, reference LOL) this is what Lani told me recently about the split:


Thanks and I would love to hear people's thoughts, though I've already read LOTS of them on various threads on this forum already!

Obrigado, Allen
Just read your fine story Brazilian Interpreter in waxpoetics and appreciate the insight of Lani Hall's career. I'm new to the forum and am really enjoying the posts on some great music from the 60's. I've always enjoyed Sergio's music from the time I was a kid. I'm in my early 60's. I'm a retired mobile DJ/musician, mainly guitarist, and since covid hit I've been learning many of the Sergio Mendes B66 catalog on guitar, as well as other songs from Brazilian artists that include Astrud Gilberto, Jobim, Wanderley, Lobo, etc. as well as the Jazz/Bossa crossover artists at the time. e.g Getz, Brubeck, Miles, Shorter, Turrentine, etc. I guess once you go down the Bossa Nova rabbit hole the list of songs and artists seem endless for listening and playing.
Thanks again for the story Allen.
 
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GrooveVoyager

New Member
I remember hearing Walk On By and Laia LaDaia on the radio by Carnival back in my youth. I did think that I was hearing Brasil'66 for Walk On By but the dj said it was the Carnival. I never knew the connection between Carnival and Brasil'66-namely Janis Hansen- until I started reading this forum when I first joined the site. I also remember seeing their lp in the cut out bins at record stores but never bought it.
When you start following the artist's careers associated with Sergio Mendes you really start going down the rabbit hole.
Consider the band The Going Thing, which included Janis Hansen(Janice Hansen) and Larry Carlton. The Going Thing 1970 (VINYL PROMOTIONAL LP) by The Going Thing (with Janice Hansen and guitarist Larry Carlton): Near Fine Hardcover (1970) 1st Edition | Cat's Curiosities
 
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JMK

Well-Known Member
Contributor
Janis was pretty direct in her emails to me decades ago about how hard it was to tour and what she perceived as almost a "class difference" between the band and Sergio. In the trivia department, I have a sister-in-law who grew up in Beverly Hills and went to school with Derek, but she really made my day when I was in LA years ago actually searching for The Carnival LP and she told me he had a party back in the day she attended where The Carnival was the party band!
 
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lj

Well-Known Member
When you start following the artist's careers associated with Sergio Mendes you really start going down the rabbit hole.
Consider the band The Going Thing, which included Janis Hansen(Janice Hansen) and Larry Carlton. The Going Thing 1970 (VINYL PROMOTIONAL LP) by The Going Thing (with Janice Hansen and guitarist Larry Carlton): Near Fine Hardcover (1970) 1st Edition | Cat's Curiosities
Thanks for posting about the The Going Thing. Very interesting. And yes, Brazilian music and Bossa Nova goes very deep into pop and jazz history.
When you start following the artist's careers associated with Sergio Mendes you really start going down the rabbit hole.
Consider the band The Going Thing, which included Janis Hansen(Janice Hansen) and Larry Carlton. The Going Thing 1970 (VINYL PROMOTIONAL LP) by The Going Thing (with Janice Hansen and guitarist Larry Carlton): Near Fine Hardcover (1970) 1st Edition | Cat's Curiosities

Practically an inexhaustible source of really good music--the best of harmony, melody and rhythm--but for newcomers not around in the 1960s and 70s you do have to explore and research in order to discover it.
 

lj

Well-Known Member
Sergio was a tough guy to work for. JMK referred to the issues Janis had with Sergio. In addition, her predecessor, Bibi Vogel, left almost immediately after the formation of Brasil 66. Karen, in her 1972 Playboy interview, had nothing nice to say about Brasil 77. Leeza Miller wrote in her website that after she sang Sergio's big 1983 hit "Never Gonna Let You Go", there was immediate tension with Sergio after she asked for fair pay. Shortly thereafter Leeza had left his group. When Sergio produced Sara Vaughn's Brazilian album, there was a lot of friction between the two. That said, this is not to diminish Sergio's tremendous talent as an arranger and musical interpreter. Great musical leaders were never known as softies--what counts is the musical output. Take Benny Goodman--he was known as a tyrant towards the personnel in his band, and yet he is rightfully called the"King of Swing". Take George Szell conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra. He ruled the orchestra with an iron fist. Yet he is made the cover of Time magazine in 1963 and is arguably the greatest conductor of the second half of the 20th century. Sergio wasn't the easiest person to work for, but for me, thank goodness he created some classic albums from his glory days with Brasil 66/77.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
Buddy Rich is also someone I could never have worked for. His tirades were epic.
 

JMK

Well-Known Member
Contributor
I was able to provide an MP3 of The Going Thing's first album to John Bahler, one of the great session singers in LA who was also in the band. John nicely confirmed for me that he and his brother are the soaring tenors on a lot of the fantastic Hugo Montenegro recordings from the late sixties and early seventies, and he also confirmed that he was one of the vocalists on the great vocalese overture version of the rejiggered theme for Sweet Charity that Cy Coleman wrote for the film version. There's also a Going Thing Christmas album which has a pretty funny spoken track by Ford's General Manager at the time.
 
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JOv2

Well-Known Member
This photo looks to be round about 1970. Can't say what the conditions were (Sergio's pad?), but "mayonnaise / Wonder Bread" sandwiches and Coors in-the-can ain't exactly like dining at Perino's.

Brasil-66-70d.jpg
 

lj

Well-Known Member
I was able to provide an MP3 of The Going Thing's first album to John Bahler, one of the great session singers in LA who was also in the band. John nicely confirmed for me that he and his brother are the soaring tenors on a lot of the fantastic Hugo Montenegro recordings from the late sixties and early seventies, and he also confirmed that he was one of the vocalists on the great vocalese overture version of the rejiggered theme for Sweet Charity that Cy Coleman wrote for the film version. There's also a Going Thing Christmas album which has a pretty funny spoken track by Ford's General Manager at the time.
Here is a video of "Ford the Going Thing". Janis is clearly seen to the far right. The famous smooth jazz guitarist Larry Carlton was also a part of the Going Thing group.

 

JMK

Well-Known Member
Contributor
I'm pretty sure this is Sergio's backyard in the house in Encino that was destroyed in the Northridge quake. This is the house where Harrison Ford was the carpenter on the in home recording studio. There are other shots of this space on the picture sleeve for Norwegian Wood IIRC.


This photo looks to be round about 1970. Can't say what the conditions were (Sergio's pad?), but "mayonnaise / Wonder Bread" sandwiches and Coors in-the-can ain't exactly like dining at Perino's.

Brasil-66-70d.jpg
 

Michael Hagerty

Well-Known Member
Contributor
This photo looks to be round about 1970. Can't say what the conditions were (Sergio's pad?), but "mayonnaise / Wonder Bread" sandwiches and Coors in-the-can ain't exactly like dining at Perino's.

Brasil-66-70d.jpg
I'm not sure I see sandwiches...don't know what's on the plate. Coors and Coke in cans, at the time, wasn't all that down-market. What I'm curious about is the wedding ring on Sergio's hand. Who was he married to before Grachina, and when?
 
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