Songs that Sergio should have arranged and Lani should have sung

Intuitive Samba

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Thread Starter
"Out of my Book" by Peter Hammill (Van Der Graff Generator) ? That was recorded on that band's 2nd album in late 1969.

Also, in late 1969, another British band (Jethro Tull) recorded Ian Anderson's "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey and Me."
The verses could have a slow Brasilian beat (which is already kinda implied, if you ask me, based on the acoustic guitar figure) -- and the chorus/refrain could have a double-time (double-tempo) Brazilian-type beat, as well.
It could have a similar style/"feel" to "Sometimes in Winter" (on Stillness).

Also, from Tull's 3rd LP -- Benefit -- is another song "Inside" which is a possibility for a treatment -- or, at least, for an early 1970s Lani solo recording, maybe? (I had previously mentioned "Alive and Well and Living In" -- which was originally on the U.K. but not U.S. version of that album. That song finally saw American release on the Living in the Past compilation in 1972.)
 
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rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
I was sitting in an office today for a bit and thought of two selections that would have worked with Sergio and Lani. They are both from The "Warm" album by Herb Alpert and are "Zazueira" by Jorge Ben and "Sandbox" by John Pisano. I think they would have been good selections, especially since John Pisano was guest guitarist on three of the Brasil'66 albums. John's guitar and Sergio's piano could have had a great sound working with each other on Sandbox with Lani and Karen on vocals.
 

Steven J. Gross

Well-Known Member
I was sitting in an office today for a bit and thought of two selections that would have worked with Sergio and Lani. They are both from The "Warm" album by Herb Alpert and are "Zazueira" by Jorge Ben and "Sandbox" by John Pisano. I think they would have been good selections, especially since John Pisano was guest guitarist on three of the Brasil'66 albums. John's guitar and Sergio's piano could have had a great sound working with each other on Sandbox with Lani and Karen on vocals.

I would love to see them both revert back to that genre in a serious way...
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
I would love to see them both revert back to that genre in a serious way...
I listen to the Brasil'66 cd's more than any other cd that I have. I have gotten others turned onto the sounds of Sergio Mendes as well. I despise much of the music of today and would love a Brasil'66 reunion of the surviving members for a studio recording of a double cd or extended recording of 20-25 songs including all those mentioned by members of this thread.
I even though of another song the they should have recorded that I heard on the radio by Chris Montez yesterday-The More I see You. The AM station that I often listen to the the car plays him as well as Brasil'66.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
I was sitting in an office today for a bit and thought of two selections that would have worked with Sergio and Lani. They are both from The "Warm" album by Herb Alpert and are "Zazueira" by Jorge Ben and "Sandbox" by John Pisano.
"Zazueira" was on the second Bossa Rio album and is probably closest to how it would have sounded with B66 performing it.
 

TulitaPepsi

Well-Known Member
I have always thought Sergio should tackle "O Que é Que a Baiana Tem?" one of Carmen Miranda's most famous Brazilian songs, introduced in the film "Banana da Terra" (1939) before she went to Hollywood. He has never recorded any of Carmen's sings, and would be a perfect tribute to Brazil's first international star from another. It was written by Sergio's friend Dori Caymmi when he was sixteen years old. . I can practically hear Lani or Gracinha perform this!

A gorgeous mellow version performed by Sergio's friends Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Dori Caymmi

Clara Nunes does a great version, with a Mendes flavor.

Carmen's original:

A bit more about the song itself: O Que É Que A Baiana Tem? - Wikipedia
 

TulitaPepsi

Well-Known Member
The translated English lyrics to "Viola" belie the gentle soothing melody :

The hand that plays a guitar
(A mão que toca um violão)

If necessary make war
(Se for preciso faz a guerra)

Kill the world, hurt the earth
(Mata o mundo, fere a terra)

The voice that sings a song
(A voz que canta uma canção)

If need be sing a hymn
(Se for preciso canta um hino)

Praying Mantis
(Louva à morte)

Viola in moonlit night
(Viola em noite enluarada)

In the backlands it's like a sword
(No sertão é como espada)

Hope of revenge
(Esperança de vingança)

The same foot that samba dances
(O mesmo pé que dança um samba)

If I need to go to fight
(Se preciso vai à luta)

Capoeira
(Capoeira)


Who has the companion at night
(Quem tem de noite a companheira)

Do you know that peace is fleeting
(Sabe que a paz é passageira)

To defend it gets up
(Prá defendê-la se levanta)

And shouts, "I will!"
(E grita: "Eu vou!")

Hand, guitar, song and sword
(Mão, violão, canção e espada)

And moonlit guitar
(E viola enluarada)

By field and city
(Pelo campo e cidade)

Flag bearer, capoeira
(Porta bandeira, capoeira)

Parading go singing:
(Desfilando vão cantando:)

Freedom
(Liberdade)

Who has the companion at night
(Quem tem de noite a companheira)

Do you know that peace is fleeting
(Sabe que a paz é passageira)

To defend it gets up
(Prá defendê-la se levanta)

And shouts, "I will!"
(E grita: "Eu vou!" )

Flag carrier
(Porta bandeira)

Capoeira
(Capoeira)

Parading go singing:
(Desfilando vão cantando):

Freedom
(Liberdade)

Freedom
(Liberdade)

Freedom
(Liberdade)

Freedom .
(Liberdade) .

.
.

.
 

Michael Hagerty

Well-Known Member
Contributor
Like Milton Nascimento's "Courage", so many beautiful Brazilian melodies have lyrics inspired by the struggles of that country. A troubled paradise.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
These songs were very much part of the MPB (música popular brasileira) movement at the time. It grew out of post-Bossa Nova music and often included political/social issues in the lyrics, and melded the older Brazilian styles (samba, Bossa Nova) with jazz and pop music. Edu Lobo was one of the pioneers of that movement and his composition "Arrastão" (co-written with Vinícius de Moraes) put Elis Regina on the map, who turned it into a top-selling hit single in 1965.
 

lj

Well-Known Member
The translated English lyrics to "Viola" belie the gentle soothing melody :

The hand that plays a guitar
(A mão que toca um violão)

If necessary make war
(Se for preciso faz a guerra)

Kill the world, hurt the earth
(Mata o mundo, fere a terra)

The voice that sings a song
(A voz que canta uma canção)

If need be sing a hymn
(Se for preciso canta um hino)

Praying Mantis
(Louva à morte)

Viola in moonlit night
(Viola em noite enluarada)

In the backlands it's like a sword
(No sertão é como espada)

Hope of revenge
(Esperança de vingança)

The same foot that samba dances
(O mesmo pé que dança um samba)

If I need to go to fight
(Se preciso vai à luta)

Capoeira
(Capoeira)

Who has the companion at night
(Quem tem de noite a companheira)

Do you know that peace is fleeting
(Sabe que a paz é passageira)

To defend it gets up
(Prá defendê-la se levanta)

And shouts, "I will!"
(E grita: "Eu vou!")

Hand, guitar, song and sword
(Mão, violão, canção e espada)

And moonlit guitar
(E viola enluarada)

By field and city
(Pelo campo e cidade)

Flag bearer, capoeira
(Porta bandeira, capoeira)

Parading go singing:
(Desfilando vão cantando:)

Freedom
(Liberdade)

Who has the companion at night
(Quem tem de noite a companheira)

Do you know that peace is fleeting
(Sabe que a paz é passageira)

To defend it gets up
(Prá defendê-la se levanta)

And shouts, "I will!"
(E grita: "Eu vou!" )

Flag carrier
(Porta bandeira)

Capoeira
(Capoeira)

Parading go singing:
(Desfilando vão cantando):

Freedom
(Liberdade)

Freedom
(Liberdade)

Freedom
(Liberdade)

Freedom .
(Liberdade) .

.
.

.
 

lj

Well-Known Member
Viola was written by the brilliant Marcos Valle (music) and his brother Paulo Sergio (lyrics). Interestingly, Valle, Edu Lobo and Dori Caymmi were all born in 1943 and were close friends. Carlos Lyra and Roberto Menescal were their music teachers. An incredible amount of music talent to say the least!
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
To open up the Crystal Illusions album, Sergio could have (instead) arranged a B'66 rendition of "Mrs. Robinson" by (Paul) Simon and Garfunkel, as the big 1968 hit, rather than Otis Redding's "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay."


I'm an arm-chair, historically-revisionist fantasy A&M A-and-R man!

It's too bad, what Michael Hagerty has been saying about the practice of major-label recording artists covering other major hit-making artists' hit songs -- amidst the changing trends of the late-'60s U.S. music industry.

Other possibilities, in my historically-revisionist musical fantasy include:
"Undun" by the Guess Who (Randy Bachman).

Another interesting choice could have been "Living in the Past" by Jethro Tull (Ian Anderson).
But, that record already had so many of the elements of a Brasil '66 (Sergio) arrangement and production, including orchestration.
The only key difference would/could have been the lead vocalist -- Lani, of course (with possible Male backing vocal(s), as well).
Even Martin Barre's electric rhythm guitar sounds like what's on the B'66 arrangements/productions (Joe Pisano?).

In fact, that song was first recorded and released in the U.K. in 1969, where it was a hit.
Those of you who remember American radio back in the late 1960s and early 1970s -- Please tell me -- Was that song getting airplay in '69, or did that not happen until the American re-release in 1972. There was also a double-album compilation released that year in which that song was its title track.

I do not ever remember hearing Tull's Living In The Past back in 1969. I listened to a variety of stations, AM and FM, and never heard it until
the album came out in 72.
 

Michael Hagerty

Well-Known Member
Contributor
I do not ever remember hearing Tull's Living In The Past back in 1969. I listened to a variety of stations, AM and FM, and never heard it until
the album came out in 72.
A little research says it was a stand-alone single in the UK. While some American FM rock stations played imports, it was usually import albums. "Living in the Past" wasn't on a big record with a little hole until '72.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
A little research says it was a stand-alone single in the UK. While some American FM rock stations played imports, it was usually import albums. "Living in the Past" wasn't on a big record with a little hole until '72.
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.
Here is another selection that Lani could have done-Edu Lobo's "The Circle Game." No offense to Gracinha. Lani could have had some power on the Portugese section and then written some English lyrics for later in the song.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
I've done a lot of work in spare time over the past couple of years to create my own "single version" of "The Circle Game." It's fun to try to make smooth edits that make musical sense. If I ever get it to where I feel like it is worth sharing I'll figure out a way to put it up here. There are still some clashes in it that I need to get rid of somehow.

It's hard to imagine Lani singing that song because Gracinha pulled it off so perfectly, but Lani could sing the phone book and make it sound good.
 
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Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
How long to you figure this mythical "single edit" of "The Circle Game" would be? A radio single of around 4:00 was the standard of the day.
 

Michael Hagerty

Well-Known Member
Contributor
How long to you figure this mythical "single edit" of "The Circle Game" would be? A radio single of around 4:00 was the standard of the day.
I think the average was more like 3:30---a lot of artists were pushing it, but if you weren't huge or hip, radio would push back.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
I've not matched years, but these were all around that same time - late 60s/ early 70s.

Carole King - It's Too Late - 3:55
Cat Stevens - Peace Train - 4:03
Herb Alpert - This Guy's - 3:58
Don McLean - Vincent - 4:00
Second Avenue - Garfunkel - 3:59
Elton John - Daniel - 3:56

I know that radio programmers liked shorter records, and would more easily slip them into their programming, but I still think that 4:00 was about the limit in those days.

I'm under no illusion that "The Circle Game" by Sergio Mendes & Brasil '77 could've been a hit, let alone a single. The thing is 18 minutes long. But it's a fun exercise to play with if you're into music editing. I just did a quick attempt at a 4:00 version and am not satisfied. I chopped out one of the opening fanfares and seamlessly edited the two pieces together. Then I simply faded it at just before 4:00, ending at 4:01. But the instrumental piece I left at the fade was not spectacular enough to end a single. It just sort of lays there. I need to do more research to see what a better ending might be.
 

lj

Well-Known Member
In my opinion, there is too much important stuff going on for 18 minutes to edit it down. It's like musical mosaic--first the vocal prelude, then the flute dominates, the the guitar, back to the vocal, and then the piano dominates leading to the ending. To edit it down would lose all the intricate melodies and harmonies going on for those 18 glorious minutes. You guys, this arrangement of The Circle Game is a masterpiece--leave well enough alone.
 
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