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Sergio Mendes & Brasil '77 - Primal Roots

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Primal Roots

Sergio Mendes & Brasil '77

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This time, Sergio Mendes freed himself from any commercial expectations, plunged deep into Brazil, and came up with a boldly experimental yet beautifully impressionistic album of Brazilian folk and popular music. Many of the tracks here are ritualistic in structure, with call-and-response vocals, sprinkled with native Brazilian percussion instruments like the agogo, cuica, atabaques and the weird single-string berimbau, creating mysterious moods and grooves. Oscar Castro-Neves -- whose guitar shines throughout the album -- and bassist Sebastiao Neto wrote one gorgeous tune, "After Sunrise," and Mendes adapts folk songs as well as Baden Powell's "Iemanja" and Dori Caymmi's now-well-known "Promessa de Pescador" to the blend of Brasil '77 female vocals and Brazilian tropical sounds. The record is dominated by a single, gigantic 19-minute piece, "The Circle Game," a rambling, multi-sectioned tour de force with extended Brazilian grooves, properly exotic jazz flute solos from Tom Scott, and dissonant improvisations touching on the jazz avant-garde. Understandably, Primal Roots remained dear to Mendes' heart even though it was not a sales blockbuster, and it gives credence to the not-often-floated idea of Mendes as innovator, whose uncompromising explorations of world music sounds place this record years ahead of its time.
© Richard S. Ginell /TiVo

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Primal Roots

Sergio Mendes & Brasil '77

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1
Promise Of A Fisherman (Promessa De Pescador)
00:03:32

Sergio Mendes, Producer - Dorival Caymmi, ComposerLyricist - Sergio Mendes & Brasil '77, MainArtist

℗ 1972 Concord Records, Inc.

2
After Sunrise
00:03:28

Sergio Mendes, Producer - Sebastian Neto, ComposerLyricist - Sergio Mendes & Brasil '77, MainArtist - Oscar Castro-Neves, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1972 Concord Records, Inc.

3
Canto De Ubiratan
00:02:10

Sergio Mendes, Producer, Arranger, Work Arranger - Sergio Mendes & Brasil '77, MainArtist

℗ 1972 Concord Records, Inc.

4
Iemanja
00:03:02

Sergio Mendes, Producer - Baden Powell, ComposerLyricist - Sergio Mendes & Brasil '77, MainArtist

℗ 1972 Concord Records, Inc.

5
Pomba Gira
00:02:29

Sergio Mendes, Producer, Arranger, Work Arranger - Sergio Mendes & Brasil '77, MainArtist

℗ 1972 Concord Records, Inc.

6
The Circle Game (Jôgo De Roda)
00:18:25

Ruy Guerra, ComposerLyricist - Sergio Mendes, Producer - Edu Lobo, ComposerLyricist - Sergio Mendes & Brasil '77, MainArtist

℗ 1972 Concord Records, Inc.

7
Promise Of A Fisherman (Promessa De Pescador) Reprise
00:00:41

Sergio Mendes, Producer - Dorival Caymmi, ComposerLyricist - Sergio Mendes & Brasil '77, MainArtist

℗ 1972 Concord Records, Inc.

Album Description

This time, Sergio Mendes freed himself from any commercial expectations, plunged deep into Brazil, and came up with a boldly experimental yet beautifully impressionistic album of Brazilian folk and popular music. Many of the tracks here are ritualistic in structure, with call-and-response vocals, sprinkled with native Brazilian percussion instruments like the agogo, cuica, atabaques and the weird single-string berimbau, creating mysterious moods and grooves. Oscar Castro-Neves -- whose guitar shines throughout the album -- and bassist Sebastiao Neto wrote one gorgeous tune, "After Sunrise," and Mendes adapts folk songs as well as Baden Powell's "Iemanja" and Dori Caymmi's now-well-known "Promessa de Pescador" to the blend of Brasil '77 female vocals and Brazilian tropical sounds. The record is dominated by a single, gigantic 19-minute piece, "The Circle Game," a rambling, multi-sectioned tour de force with extended Brazilian grooves, properly exotic jazz flute solos from Tom Scott, and dissonant improvisations touching on the jazz avant-garde. Understandably, Primal Roots remained dear to Mendes' heart even though it was not a sales blockbuster, and it gives credence to the not-often-floated idea of Mendes as innovator, whose uncompromising explorations of world music sounds place this record years ahead of its time.
© Richard S. Ginell /TiVo

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