Sérgio Mendes

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Sérgio Mendes
SergioMENDESFeb2016.jpg
Sérgio Mendes in 2016.
Background information
Birth nameSérgio Santos Mendes
Also known asSantos Sergio
Born (1941-02-11) February 11, 1941 (age 77)
Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Origin Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Bandleader
  • pianist
  • composer
  • arranger
  • songwriter
InstrumentsPiano
Years active1961–present
Labels

Sérgio Santos Mendes (Brazilian Portuguese:  [ˈsɛʁʒju ˈsɐ̃tus ˈmẽdʒis] ; born February 11, 1941) [1] is a Brazilian musician. He has over 55 releases, and plays bossa nova heavily crossed with jazz and funk. [1] He was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song in 2012 as co-writer of the song "Real in Rio" from the animated film Rio .

Bossa nova is a style of Brazilian music, which was developed and popularized in the 1950s and 1960s and is today one of the best-known Brazilian music styles abroad. The phrase bossa nova means literally "new trend" or "new wave". A lyrical fusion of samba and jazz, bossa nova acquired a large following in the 1960s, initially among young musicians and college students.

Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as "America's classical music". Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression. It then emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as "one of America's original art forms".

Funk is a music genre that originated in African-American communities in the mid-1960s when African-American musicians created a rhythmic, danceable new form of music through a mixture of soul music, jazz, and rhythm and blues (R&B). Funk de-emphasizes melody and chord progressions and focuses on a strong rhythmic groove of a bass line played by an electric bassist and a drum part played by a drummer. Like much of African-inspired music, funk typically consists of a complex groove with rhythm instruments playing interlocking grooves. Funk uses the same richly colored extended chords found in bebop jazz, such as minor chords with added sevenths and elevenths, or dominant seventh chords with altered ninths and thirteenths.

Contents

Mendes is a unique example of a Brazilian musician primarily known in the United States, where his albums were recorded and where most of his touring took place.

Mendes is married to Gracinha Leporace, who has performed with him since the early 1970s. Mendes has also collaborated with many artists through the years, including The Black Eyed Peas, with whom he re-recorded in 2006 a version of his breakthrough hit "Mas Que Nada".

Gracinha Leporace Brazilian singer

Gracinha Leporace is a Brazilian singer who worked extensively with her husband Sérgio Mendes and his band.

The Black Eyed Peas American hip hop group

The Black Eyed Peas is an American musical group, consisting of rappers will.i.am, apl.de.ap and Taboo and singer Jessica Reynoso. Originally an alternative hip hop group, they subsequently changed their musical sound to pop and dance-pop music. Although the group was founded in Los Angeles in 1995, it was not until the release of their third album, Elephunk, in 2003, that they achieved high record sales. Since that time, the group has sold an estimated 76 million records, making them one of the world's best-selling groups of all time. As of 2011, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the Black Eyed Peas were the second-best-selling artist/group of all time for downloaded tracks, behind Rihanna, with over 42 million sales.

Biography

Early career

Mendes was born in Niterói, Brazil, the son of a physician. He attended the local conservatory with hopes of becoming a classical pianist. As his interest in jazz grew, he started playing in nightclubs in the late 1950s just as bossa nova, a jazz-inflected derivative of samba, was emerging. Mendes played with Antônio Carlos Jobim (regarded as a mentor) and many U.S. jazz musicians who toured Brazil.

Niterói Municipality in Southeast, Brazil

Niterói is a municipality of the state of Rio de Janeiro in the southeast region of Brazil. It lies across Guanabara Bay facing the city of Rio de Janeiro and forms part of the Rio de Janeiro Metropolitan Area. It was the state capital, as marked by its golden mural crown, from 1834 to 1894 and again from 1903 to 1975. It has an estimated population of 487,327 inhabitants (2010) and an area of 129.375 km (80.39 mi), making it the fifth most populous city in the state. It has the highest Human Development Index of the state and the seventh largest among Brazil's municipalities in 2010. Individually, it is the second municipality with the highest average monthly household income per capita in Brazil and appears in 13th place among the municipalities of the country according to social indicators related to education. The city has the nicknames of Nikity, Nicki City and the Smile City (Cidade Sorriso).

Samba is a Brazilian music genre and dance style, with its roots in Africa via the West African slave trade and African religious traditions, particularly of Angola and the Congo, through the samba de roda genre of the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia, from which it derived. Although there were various forms of samba in Brazil with popular rhythms originated from drumming, samba as a music genre has its origins in Rio de Janeiro, the former capital of Brazil.

Antônio Carlos Jobim Brazilian songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, and pianist/guitarist

Antônio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim, also known as Tom Jobim, was a Brazilian composer, pianist, songwriter, arranger and singer. Widely considered as one of the great exponents of Brazilian music, Jobim is the artist who internationalized bossa nova and, with the help of important American artists, merged it with jazz in the 1960s to create a new sound with remarkable popular success.

Mendes formed the Sexteto Bossa Rio and recorded Dance Moderno in 1961. Touring Europe and the United States, Mendes recorded albums with Cannonball Adderley and Herbie Mann and played Carnegie Hall. Mendes moved to the U.S. in 1964 and cut two albums under the Sergio Mendes & Brasil '65 group name with Capitol Records and Atlantic Records.

<i>Dance Moderno</i> album by Sérgio Mendes

Dance Moderno is the first album by Sérgio Mendes. It is a pure instrumental album.

Cannonball Adderley American jazz alto saxophonist

Julian Edwin "Cannonball" Adderley was an American jazz alto saxophonist of the hard bop era of the 1950s and 1960s.

Carnegie Hall concert hall in New York City

Carnegie Hall is a concert venue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States, located at 881 Seventh Avenue, occupying the east side of Seventh Avenue between West 56th Street and West 57th Street, two blocks south of Central Park.

Sergio became full partners with Richard Adler, a Brooklyn-born American who had previously brought Bossa Trés plus two dancers, Joe Bennett and a Brazilian partner, to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show, in 1963. He was also accompanied by Jobim; Flavio Ramos, and Aloisio Olivera, a record and TV producer from Rio. The Musicians Union only allowed this group to appear on one TV show and one club appearance (Basin Street East) before ordering them to leave the U.S. When the new group, Brasil '65 was formed, Shelly Manne, Bud Shank and other West Coast musicians got Sergio and the others into the local musicians union. Adler and Mendes formed Brasil '65, which consisted of Wanda Sá and Rosinha de Valença, as well as the Sergio Mendes Trio. The group recorded albums for Atlantic and Capitol.

Shelly Manne American jazz drummer

Sheldon Manne was an American jazz drummer. Most frequently associated with West Coast jazz, he was known for his versatility and also played in a number of other styles, including Dixieland, swing, bebop, avant-garde jazz and fusion, as well as contributing to the musical background of hundreds of Hollywood films and television programs.

Bud Shank American saxophonist and flautist

Clifford Everett "Bud" Shank, Jr. was an American alto saxophonist and flautist. He rose to prominence in the early 1950s playing lead alto and flute in Stan Kenton's Innovations in Modern Music Orchestra and throughout the decade worked in various small jazz combos. He spent the 1960s as a first-call studio musician in Hollywood. In the 1970s and 1980s, he performed regularly with the L. A. Four. Shank ultimately abandoned the flute to focus exclusively on playing jazz on the alto saxophone. He also recorded on tenor and baritone sax. He is also well known for the alto flute solo on the song "California Dreamin'" recorded by The Mamas & the Papas in 1965.

Wanda Maria Ferreira de Sá is a Brazilian bossa nova singer and guitarist, active from 1964 to the present day.

Brasil '66

All of Mendes' jazz albums for Atlantic Records, through Nesuhi and Ahmet Ertegun, had low sales. Richard Adler suggested that Mendes and the group sing in English, as well as Portuguese that Mendes had demanded, and Adler sought new English-based material such as "Going Out of My Head" by Teddy Randazzo and Bobby Weinstein. In order to sing these songs properly in English, Adler suggested that the group find two American girl singers who would sing in both English and Portuguese. Adler called his friend Jerry Dennon, and A&M Records founders Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, and arranged for an audition for Mendes' new group, which was dubbed "Brasil '66.'" Alpert and Moss signed Mendes and his group to A&M Records. Adler then went to the Ertegun Brothers at Atlantic Records and sought to have them release Mendes from his Atlantic Jazz contract. Ahmet agreed to allow him to record albums under name "Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66" with A&M. Mendes was not at this meeting, only Adler and Ahmet Ertegun. Alpert took over as producer for the A&M albums, and the group became a huge success with their first single, "Mas Que Nada", by writer Jorge Ben.

Nesuhi Ertegun American-Turkish record producer

Nesuhi Ertegun was a Turkish-American record producer and executive of Atlantic Records and WEA International.

Ahmet Ertegun American-Turkish songwriter

Ahmet Ertegun (, Turkish spelling: Ahmet Ertegün was a Turkish-American businessman, songwriter and philanthropist.

Herb Alpert American musician

HerbAlpert is an American jazz musician most associated with the group variously known as Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass, or TJB. Alpert is also a recording industry executive, the "A" of A&M Records, a recording label he and business partner Jerry Moss founded and eventually sold to PolyGram. Alpert also has created abstract expressionist paintings and sculpture over two decades, which are publicly displayed on occasion. Alpert and his wife, Lani Hall, are substantial philanthropists through the operation of the Herb Alpert Foundation.

The first album on A&M was Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66 , an album that went platinum based largely on the success of the single "Mas Que Nada" (a Jorge Ben cover) and the personal support of Alpert, with whom Mendes toured.

The original lineup of Brasil '66 was Mendes (piano), vocalists Lani Hall (later Herb Alpert's wife) and Bibi Vogel (later replaced by Janis Hansen), Bob Matthews (bass), José Soares (percussion) and João Palma (drums). John Pisano played guitar. This new line-up including Hansen then recorded two more albums between 1966–1968 (including the best-selling Look Around LP), before there was a major personnel change for their fourth album Fool on the Hill. [1]

Karen Philipp replaced Hansen as the second female vocalist, while veteran drummer Dom Um Romão teamed with Rubens Bassini to assume percussionist duties. Claudio Slon joined the group as drummer in 1969, and played with Mendes for nearly a decade. Sebastião Neto was the new bassist and Oscar Castro-Neves, the guitarist. This line-up had a more orchestrated sound than its predecessors. Most significantly, in the early 1970s, lead singer Hall pursued a solo career and became Alpert's second wife. [1] Some accounts claim that Mendes was upset with Alpert for years for "stealing" Hall away from his group.

Though his early singles with Brasil '66 (most notably "Mas Que Nada") met with some success, Mendes really burst into mainstream prominence when he performed the Oscar-nominated "The Look of Love" on the Academy Awards telecast in April 1968. Brasil '66's version of the song quickly shot into the top 10, peaking at No. 4 [2] and eclipsing Dusty Springfield's version from the soundtrack of the movie, Casino Royale . Mendes spent the rest of 1968 enjoying consecutive top 10 and top 20 hits with his follow-up singles, "The Fool on the Hill" and "Scarborough Fair." From 1968 on, Mendes was arguably the biggest Brazilian star in the world [1] and enjoyed immense popularity worldwide, performing in venues as varied as stadium arenas and the White House, where he gave concerts for both presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon. [1] The Brasil '66 group appeared at the World Expo in Osaka, Japan in June 1970.

Middle career

Mendes' career in the U.S. stalled in the mid-1970s, but he remained very popular in South America and Japan. His two albums with Bell Records in 1973 and 1974 followed by several for Elektra from 1975 on, found Mendes continuing to mine the best in American pop music and post-Bossa writers of his native Brazil, while forging new directions in soul with collaborators like Stevie Wonder, who wrote Mendes' R&B-inflected minor hit, "The Real Thing."

In 1983, he rejoined Alpert's A&M records and enjoyed huge success with a self-titled album and several follow-up albums, all of which received considerable adult contemporary airplay with charting singles. "Never Gonna Let You Go", featuring vocals by Joe Pizzulo and Leza Miller, equalled the success of his 1968 single "The Look of Love" by reaching No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart; it also spent four weeks atop the Billboard adult contemporary chart. [2] In 1984 he recorded the Confetti album, which had the hit songs "Olympia", which was also used as a theme song for the Olympic games that year and "Alibis". The '80s also found Mendes working with singer Lani Hall again on the song "No Place to Hide" from the Brasil '86 album, and as producer of her vocals on the title song for the James Bond film Never Say Never Again .

By the time Mendes released his Grammy-winning Elektra album Brasileiro in 1992, he was the undisputed master of pop-inflected Brazilian jazz. The late-1990s lounge music revival brought retrospection and respect to Mendes' oeuvre, particularly the classic Brasil '66 albums.

Later career

Sérgio Mendes 2008 Sérgio Mendes.jpg
Sérgio Mendes 2008

Timeless features a wide array of neo-soul and alternative hip hop guest artists, including The Black Eyed Peas, Erykah Badu, Black Thought, Jill Scott, Chali 2na of Jurassic 5, India.Arie, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Q-Tip, Stevie Wonder and Pharoahe Monch. It was released February 14, 2006 by Concord Records. [1]

The 2006 re-recorded version of "Mas Que Nada" with The Black Eyed Peas had additional vocals by Gracinha Leporace (Mendes' wife); this version is included on Timeless. In Brazil, the song is also well known for being the theme song for the local television channel Globo's Estrelas. The Black Eyed Peas' version contains a sample of their 2004 hit "Hey Mama". The re-recorded song became popular on many European charts. On the UK Singles Chart, the song entered at No. 29 and rose to and peaked at No. 6 on its second week on the chart.

He makes an appearance dancing along for one of the segments Pharrell Williams' 24 hour of happy.

Mendes served as co-producer on the soundtrack albums for two animated films about his homeland: 2011's Rio and its 2014 sequel.


Discography

Gracinha Leporace and Mendes, 1971 Sergio Mendes en Gracinha Leporace (1971).jpg
Gracinha Leporace and Mendes, 1971
Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66.png
Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66

Awards and nominations

YearAwardsCategoryRecipientOutcome
1993 Grammy Awards Best World Music Album BrasileiroWon
2005 Latin Grammy Awards Lifetime Achievement Award Won
2006 Latin Grammy Awards Record of the Year "Mas que Nada" Feat Black Eyed Peas Nominated
2008 Latin Grammy Awards Best Brazilian Song "Acode" Feat Vanessa da Mata Nominated
2010 Latin Grammy Awards Best Brazilian Contemporary Pop Album Bom TempoWon
2011 Grammy Awards Best Contemporary World Music Album Bom TempoNominated
2012 Academy Awards Best Original Song "Real in Rio"Nominated

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Eder, Bruce. "Sergio Mendes Biography" at AllMusic
  2. 1 2 Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)