Album of the Week: Equinox – Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66

The “Equinox” is an astronomical event that occurs twice a year and represents a balance between time and space. It is with this above knowledge, that it seems a fitting title for the sophomore album from bossa nova group “Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66.”  Every second of the 24 minute musical journey is appropriately balanced and comes together well.

The unique sound of Brasil ’66 flourishes on this album with the lively exuberance one would expect from this group. The arrangement is complex and energetic incorporating various elements with careful precision. The sonic depth and audio spread out is captivating.

Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66 - Equinox

Equinoxx – Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66

As is often the case the vocal performances are equally notable. Lina Hall is as mesmerizing as ever and is complemented tidily by Mendes’ playing which is equally as full of life as she is.

The albums features no original work but the style applied and performances are so distinct that it makes the listening experience remarkably fresh. Bossa nova and jazz classics such “Night and Day,” ”Bim Bom”  and “Wave,” are all treated to a riveting audio renovation.

“Constant Rain” (originally performed by Jorge Ben) features a bright myriad of instruments ranging from typical Brazilian percussion to an Indian sitar, all blended with vocals and an irresistibly catchy chorus; a re-occurring theme throughout the album.

Though just 24 minutes long, “Equinox” more than any other Brasil ’66 album showcases all the trademark qualities that define the band and their swinging sound is one that will be appreciated by listeners now just as it was decades ago. Timeless.

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Released: 1967

Genre: Bossa nova

Label: A&M

Producer: Herb Alpert, Jerry Moss

1.Constant Rain (Chove Chuva) (Jorge Ben / Norman Gimbel)

2.Cinnamon and Clove (Johnny Mandel / Alan & Marilyn Bergman)

3.Watch What Happens (Michel Legrand / Jacques Demy / Norman Gimbel)

4.For Me (Edu Lobo / Norman Gimbel)

5.Bim Bom (João Gilberto)

6.Night and Day (Cole Porter)

7.Triste (Antonio Carlos Jobim)

8.Gente (Marcos Valle / Paulo Sérgio Valle)

9.Wave (Antonio Carlos Jobim)

10.Só Danço Samba (Jazz ‘n’ Samba) (Antonio Carlos Jobim / Vinícius de Moraes)

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