I could have selected so many songs from this group with obvious titles that people instantaneously associated with Sérgio Mendes and Brasil ’66. Notably “Mas Que Nada” from their first album and their very successful 68′ version of “The Look Of Love” (Janis Hansen – vocals) off the third. But it would be this beautifully arranged and orchestrated conducted piece by Dave Grusin.
Lani Hall couldn’t have gotten any better. The song was written by Edu Lobo – music & Vinícius de Moraes – lyrics in Portuguese. Hall transformed them to English and the entire song fit her singing style to perfection. Canto Triste rang out as if an opera.
Melodically beautiful yet lyrically painfully sad all at the same time.
To me this was like a work of art.
The original lineup of Brasil ’66 was Mendes (piano), vocalists Lani Hall and Bibi Vogel (later replaced by Janis Hansen), Bob Matthews (bass), José Soares (percussion) and João Palma (drums). John Pisano guested as guitarist.
Canto Triste was from the fourth album Fool On The Hill also released in 68′ and featured a new line up of musicians and one new vocalist Karen Philipp but thankfully still had Lani Hall. And Lani is the only vocal on this recording.
I had the fortune to see Mendes in 2006? or 2007 at the Detroit Jazz Fest. It was like reliving my youth. The songs brought out the goosebumps although completely different players. 99.9% of the time nothing can compare to the original, I was just glad to hear the 60s sound again.
In my opinion Lani Hall was among the best vocalists out of this era but also went on to a pretty good solo career after Brasil ’66 marrying Herb Albert. For some unknown reason to me her name just wasn’t thrown out there as such.
But as you can hear for yourself the music speaks blasting volumes as to how good she really is. Through the years she hooked up with Medes for other albums in 84′ and a song in 2008.
Mendes is still kicking out albums and both are still performing, Hall with her husband Albert.
But the magic they created during the 60s can never be duplicated,
When It Was Music ~
Sérgio Mendes – piano
Lani Hall – vocals
John Pisano – guitar
Rubens Bassini – percussion
Sebastiao Neto – percussion
Dom Um Romao – percussion, drums