Stillness -- Critique & Discussion

Which selection best characterizes the group's music at this point (late '70)

  • Stillness

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Righteous Life

    Votes: 3 25.0%
  • Chelsea Morning

    Votes: 6 50.0%
  • Cancao Do Nosso Amor

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Viramundo

    Votes: 3 25.0%
  • Lost In Paradise

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • For What It's Worth

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Sometimes In Winter

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Celebration Of The Sunrise

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Stillness (reprise)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • (Am not familiar with this release)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    12
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JMK

Well-Known Member
Contributor
You may be right, Steve--I just can't shake this feeling someone told me a weird, almost middle eastern, sounding name at one time.
 

Chris Martin

New Member
It's definitely Laudir Oliveira. Oscar Neves was quite, erm, robust around this time (see cover of Pais Tropical) though he achieved admirable weght loss in time for Love Music.

To add my 2 cents-worth to the debate, and with no authority or proof except for living with this album for so long, Lani is to the fore on everything except Cancao do nosso amor, Lost in paradise and For what it's worth.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
To avoid reader confusion, it should be noted here that James offered an opinion that Karen Phillipp was singing lead on most of the songs on the album. After several posters disagreed, he went back and edited most lead-vocalist references out of his original review (and then went on hiatus, apparently...)
 

afcorsel

New Member
I guess I agree with all that has been written about this LP. Being a hard core SM fan, I awaited eagerly everytime a new LP was released. I thought the predecessor to this LP, "Ye-Me-Le" was outstanding. I call 'Stillness' Sergio's transition LP. Lani was about to leave and marry Herb Alpert and Sergio brought in Gracinha from the Bossa Rio group and later married her. I saw both Bossa Rio and Brazil '66 (with Lani and Karen) in person and there was no question Bossa Rio did not have the polish and precision the the Brazil '66 outfit had. All that being said, "Sometimes in Winter" is a masterpiece, better than the original Blood, Sweat and Tears version. Karen was an excellent singer and left after 'Pais Tropical'. I am not sure why Sergio had trouble keeping vocalists and band members happy within his group. It was aggravating to the fan base his constant personnel changes. So here you have Lani, Karen and Grancinha all doing various vocals as well as Sergio himself. So one wonders who is singing what? Certainly 'Stillness' is all Lani and 'For What its Worth', all Karen, and 'Lost in Paradise' all Gracinha with her very thick English accent. 'Righteous Life' and 'Chelsea Morning' sound like Karen and Lani. The others are up for grabs. Frustrating!
 

Mr Bill

Gentlemanly Curmudgeon
Staff member
Moderator
Good comments, AFCorsel! And with that I must welcome you to the A&M Corner!

While some may not agree, your comments are quite welcome Don't let opposing views drive you away -- mny of us enjoy making the "pitch" to stand up for those underdog tunes that some see as "album filler" or "single B-side pabulum" at best. For me, I still find Stillness to be the most "unlistenable" of Sergio's A&M LPs and have in the past (and will again now) suffered for stating so.

I'm glad to see some new blood here (especially since "JO" was driven away).

--Mr. Bill
 

JMK

Well-Known Member
Contributor
If you're referring to my interactions with JO, go back and look again--I repeatedly stated I thought he was posting with good intentions and that I enjoyed his comments but that still didn't mean factual inaccuracies should be left standing. You gotta have a thick skin to survive online--I was roundly lambasted here years ago (on the old Board) when I excitedly posted about finding a 45 of The Crab, with several then-regulars basically telling me I was an idiot for posting about something "everyone knew about." In fact JO himself made two not so subtle semi-rude swipes at my age which I personally found humorous--it's part of "different strokes," IMHO.
 

afcorsel

New Member
I could talk about SM all day. I bought all LP's as they were released. I had seen Herb Alpert in concert, and his opening act was Brazil '66 with Lani hall and Janis Hansen. Excellent. But Sergio must have been very temperamental as he fired the entire band after the "Look Around" LP was released. That was very gutsy because Janis's lead on "Look of Love" was a huge success. Lani begged for her job back. He took her back and added Karen Phillipp and a new band. I read that when Karen auditioned with the 'Look of Love' she hit one out of the park with her vocal! I later saw Karen and Lani with the group and Karen's stage presence was unbelievable! Bossa Rio was the opening act with Grachina!

"Stillness" is not unlistenable to me. And it DOES bring back good memories for me on what was going on in my life then. I got it Winter of 1970. However for me, it ranks down with 'Crystal Illusions' .. Certainly not in the upper echelon of LP's such as of "Look Around" "Fool on the Hill" and "Ye-Me-Le".

I understand Lani double tracked the first LP. Janis's recordings began with "Equinox". That isn't Janis on the cover of the first LP either. Also Sergio seemed to favor Janis early on as she did the lead on "For Me", another single from "Equinox". But Then she complained about conditions on the road, the group stayed in dumps, while Sergio stayed in plush hotels, and that's when Sergio fired her and the other band members.

Does anyone have any more info on any of this??
 

JMK

Well-Known Member
Contributor
Hi, Afcorsel, I'm one of the few others here that, like you, bought every album pretty much as they came out (I was a bit too young for the first three, which my sister introduced me to when she came home from college in the summer of 68, but after that, I was there for them all, LOL). I'd reverse Crystal and Ye-Me-Le in my personal quality hierarchy--I love them both, but Crystal is more innovative and has the great Brasilian tunes on it that Ye-Me-Le lacks.

I'm not sure that that's Janis on "For Me"--I have had a very cordial email relationship with her and her husband for years and I think somewhere she told me that the only lead she sang was "Look of Love," but I can go back and check. You have the gist of the situation in your post, but I'd add that Janis had met her future husband, wanted to settle down, and it was hard being on the road at least 6 months out of every year, which is what Sergio was doing back then.
 

afcorsel

New Member
The only reason I thought Janis sang lead on 'For me' was on YouTube there is a clip from a TV program back in the 60's and Janis is the one singing the solo parts, not Lani. Lani and Janis did sound a lot alike as did Karen and Lani. In fact just as I as about to buy the 'Pais Tropical' album I heard the last 10 seconds or so of "So may People" on the radio and could've sworn it was Lani and Karen!

I am from a suburb in Syracuse, NY. I was about 20 and a Sophomore in college when the first LP came out on A&M. I heard 'The Joker" on the radio and was hooked! When a reviewer discussed the Herb Alpert concert, it was stated to "Keep an eye of his opening act. Sergio Mendes and Brazil' 66 will one day be their own headliners". And that is exactly what happened.

Does anyone know why Karen left? She did do one MASH episode and then did a Playboy layout. She also wrote a beautiful song that Helen Reddy placed on her "I Am Woman" Capitol LP called "I Didn't Mean To Love You".

Someday we need to talk about Gracinha and Bonnie Bowden!
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Karen Philipp actually did two episodes of M*A*S*H, the pilot and one other episode.

And as we've discussed before, she actually appears in EVERY episode of M*A*S*H, albeit briefly in the opening credit sequence.

hawkdishradarred.jpg



That's Karen with her hand on her hat in the middle. A later frame blown up:
dish.jpg


Word is that she left Brasil '77 to go into acting, and she was written out of M*A*S*H when TV budgets forced them to prune some characters.

Harry
 

JMK

Well-Known Member
Contributor
Don't ever judge who's singing by the lipsynching going on, LOL! That was just done to give both girls "coverage."

For at least the first few seasons of M*A*S*H there's a better shot of Karen--it's a POV shot from the stretcher and she's leaning over it.
 

Cortnee

Member
The 2nd photo is pretty awkward looking.What album is that photo from.
The band are all wearing childlike tshirts and none of them are smiling, the band all have serious looks on their faces.None of them look happy at all.
WTH?
 

JMK

Well-Known Member
Contributor
I actually don't think it was originally taken for an album--that Japanese LP is filled with "archival" shots.
 
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