With the world’s biggest sporting events coming to Brazil in the next few years, it’s high time we started to learn about the country’s rich musical culture. An infectious introduction is found in the sensual, jazzy, bossa nova sounds of Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66.
Sérgio Mendes is one of Brazil’s foremost pianists, arrangers, and bandleaders, having created a name for himself in the late 1950s that endures to this day. One of his most notable releases, Herb Alpert Presents Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66, opens with “Mas Que Nada,” a song written by his contemporary, Jorge Ben Jor. Considering the relative foreignness of its rhythms and lyrics, “Mas Que Nada” did well on the American pop charts at the time, and its catchiness and sensuality have helped it endure as a classic. While this version masks more authentic sounds to help it appeal to the ears of the masses, it is a surefire way to begin a love affair with Brazilian music.
Allie Prescott is the General Manager of WGTB and the host of AMPlify (Wednesdays, 3-4 PM).