SERGIO MENDES / Celebration: A Musical Journey

sergio mendes 09.jpg Celebration is a forty-some year retrospective of one of the longest running pop artists still recording. I would never argue that this is deep music but what Sergio lacks in depth he more than makes up for in longevity. Pop music is a cookie monster. No matter how much you turn out, the call is always for more, and not just more of the same but more that’s at least fashionable if not out and out trendy. Meeting those demands decade after decade is no easy task. Indeed an artist has to have a great deal of depth to keep producing popular music across generations. Inevitably there is a fall off, and generally going into the third generation, the artist hits a wall and just no longer can make the changes. No matter who it is, going from style to style and staying at the forefront of change is damn near impossible. And that’s why I decided to feature Sergio Mendes. He started off as diet-bossa nova, and then in the middle period started digging deeper into samba roots and favela developments. Lately he has been combining samba, Brazilian MPB and hip hop. It’s been quite a ride. Back in the sixties Sergio was making Starbucks kind of music before Starbucks was selling coffee nationwide. And here it is over forty years later and while you’re ordering a latte, guess what? You just might be listening to the latest from Sergio Mendes. I ain’t mad at him. Got to give him his propers, my man is a musical wizard. It might be difficult to teach an old dog new tricks but I tell you what, they got some hip old dogs out there that can show the pups a trick or two. sergio mendes 14.jpg So we open with the Jorge Ben’s classic “Mas Que Nada” and we close with the same song. Compare and contrast the two versions. Check out how much ground has been covered over the years. The first version is with Sergio’s group “Brasil ‘66” and the closing version is from Timeless, a 2006 recording. That’s forty years folks. And all in between there are some beautiful selections on this 38-track, 2CD compilation. What surprises me the most is that Sergio got stronger as he got older. Instead of coming up with a frothy lite drink, he done spiked the kool-aid, and while at first glance the music might appear to be the kind of watery fruit punch with slices of lemon and chunks of pineapple floating in the three-gallon, fake crystal glass bowl at a sedate reception over to the old folks home, the truth is Mr. Mendes ain’t nowhere near ready to retire. sergio mendes 10.jpg Must be something in the water down Rio way. My man’s music is better today than yesterday. Even got me looking forward to the next release. Way to go, Sergio! —Kalamu ya Salaam sergio mendes celebration.jpg Celebration 01 “Mas Que Nada” 02 “Going Out Of My Head” 03 “The Look Of Love” 04 “Wichita Lineman” 05 “Pais Tropical” 06 “Viramundo” 07 “Promessa De Pescador” 08 “Cinnamon And Clove (Cravo E Canela)” 09 “Rio De Janeiro” 10 “Waters Of March” 11 “Magalenha” 12 “Chove Chuva” 13 “Mas Que Nada”

This entry was posted on Monday, April 25th, 2011 at 8:11 am and is filed under Contemporary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “SERGIO MENDES / Celebration: A Musical Journey”

tayari Says:
May 1st, 2011 at 8:58 am

relax. relate. release. thx, kalamu.

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