Sergio Mendes – Timeless (2006)

FrontCover1Timeless is a collaborative album, recorded and released by Brazilian artist Sérgio Mendes, and produced by American rapper, songwriter and producer will.i.am. The album was released on February 13, 2006. The album features many neo soul and alternative hip hop guest artists, including John Legend, Q-Tip and Justin Timberlake. The album was produced entirely by will.i.am, and was released via Concord Records and the will.i.am Music Group. The album’s lead single, “Mas Que Nada”, was featured on commercials for both Joga Bonito and Nike Football, as well EA Sports’ NBA Live 07 and the 2006 FIFA World Cup video games. Two further singles were released from the album: “That Heat”, and “Yes Yes Y’all”. The album reaches across styles, combining neo soul, bossa nova, samba, hip hop, and even flavors of reggaeton. (by wikipedia)

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It’s easy to think that since Santana made his big comeback using a lot of contemporary pop stars it would become the formula for the artists of yore to edge their way back into the limelight. Sergio Mendes, the best-selling Brazilian recording artist of all time, hasn’t made a platter in eight years. He plays piano on a Black Eyed Peas track — “Sexy” from Elephunk — and the jam’s a smash. Will.i.am of the Peas decides to hook up for a full-on collaboration with Mendes, because he’s a huge fan. Being the hotshot producer of the moment, will.i.am recruited everyone from Q-Tip, Justin Timberlake, and John Legend to Jill Scott, Black Thought (the Roots), and Stevie Wonder (just to name a few) to sign on. Recorded in both Brazil and the House of Blues in Encino, the set revisits many Mendes and Brazilian songbook classics and reworks them in the modern beat-driven idiom. Needless to say, the end result is entertaining, if mixed.

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Let it be said that a cut like “Mas Que Nada” should never have been covered, let alone redone. But it is here with Black Eyed Peas and some backing vocals with, of course, Mendes playing that trademark piano riff. OK, “That Heat” is a reworking of “Slow Hot Wind,” the Henry Mancini tune Mendes covered and is supposedly the first track will.i.am ever sampled at the ripe old age of 14. Here Erykah Badu croons in a sultry humid way as will.i.am goes down deep with the rap. Mendes’ piano is what keeps the thing from falling completely apart. Better is the Baden Powell-Vinicius de Moraes medley of “Berimbau/Consolacao.” Mendes’ Rhodes offers the vamp that the elegant chorus singers — Gracinha Leporace, Debi Nova, and Kleber Jorge — and Mendes groove to. Will.i.am lays down some rather organic-sounding electronic percussion that sounds like palmas, and Wonder blows his harmonica over the entire proceeding as Jorge’s guitar strides alongside Mendes’ piano. This may be the best cut on the set.

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There is a fine case to be made for the humor in “The Frog,” written by João Donato, and originally covered by Mendes. Q-Tip lays down a charming rhyme and Mendes’ Wurlitzer work is killer. The cover of “Let Me” is stiff and Jill Scott, as fine a singer as she is, doesn’t cut it here, and neither does the rhythm track. The smoother than smooth “Please Baby Don’t,” written and sung by John Legend, works because of Legend’s understanding of Brazilian rhythm and Mendes’ piano groove that carries the voice. “Samba da Bencao,” with Marcelo D2 and guitars by the Maogani Quartet, is engaging; Mendes’ acoustic piano solo is beautiful, as are the horn charts. The title track with India.Arie is simply beautiful. Aire, with backing vocals by Nova and Leporace and a slinky guitar part by Jorge, makes the tune simply float as Mendes decorates it with Rhodes and synth. Timeless is a mixed bag, but it’s not because of Mendes. His own playing and arranging is utterly elegant. As a producer, will.i.am means well and in general does a fine job — though he is, as would be expected, a tad overzealous in working with one of his idols. Timeless may not actually achieve that status, but for the moment it’s a fine effort that doesn’t reek of cloying commercial manipulation and feels like a true collaboration. (by Thom Jurek)

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Personnel:
Paulinho Braga (drums)
Sergio Brandão (bass)
Bill Brendle (piano)
Chali 2na (vocals)
Carlos “Pipo” Chaves (percussion)
Gary “Sugar Foot” Greenberg (drums)
Keith Harris (percussion)
India.Arie (vocals)
Tim Izo (flute, saxophone)
Kleber Jorge (cavaquinho, guitar, vocals)
John Legend (vocals)
Gracinha Leporace (vocals)
Mitchell Long (guitar)
Maogani Quartet (guitar)
Marcelo D2 (vocals)
Sergio Mendes (vocals, piano, synthesizer)
Paul Meyers (guitar)
Mr. Vegas (vocals)
Pharoahe Monch (vocals)
Leonardo Nobre (bass)
Meia Noite (percussion)
Debi Nova (vocals)
Chuck Prada (percussion)
Q-Tip (vocals)
Jill Scott (vocals)
Mike Shapiro (bass, drums, percussion)
Marcus Tardelli (guitar)
Steve Tavaglione (saxophone)
Justin Timberlake (vocals)
will.i.am (bass, drum programming, percussion, vocals)
Peter Wolf (bass)
Stevie Wonder (harmonica)

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Tracklist:
01. Mas Que Nada (feat. The Black Eyed Peas) (Ben) 4.22
02. That Heat (feat. Erykah Badu / will.i.am) (Adams/Gimbel/Mancini) 4.13
03. Berimbau/Consolacao (feat. Gracinha Leporace / Stevie Wonder) (de Moraes/Powell) 4.22
04. The Frog (feat. Q-Tip / will.i.am) (Donato) 3.50
05. Let Me (feat. Jill Scott / will.i.am) (Gimbel/Powell) 4.14
06. Bananeira (Banana Tree) (feat. Mr. Vegas) (Donato/Gil) 3.14
07. Surfboard (feat. will.i.am) (Jobim) 4.31
08. Please Baby Don’t (feat. John Legend) (Legend) 4.09
09. Samba da Bencao (Samba of the Blessing) (de Moraes/Powell) 4.38
10. Timeless (feat. India.Arie) (Board/Mendes) 3.54
11. Loose Ends (feat. Pharoahe Monch / Justin Timberlake / will.i.am) (Adams/Bergman/Bergman/Mendes/Timberlake) 5.32
12. Fo’-Hop (feat. Guinga) (Guinga) 3.13
13. Lamento (No Morro) (Jobim) 3.21
14. E Menina (Hey Girl) (Donato/Guarabyra) 3.31
15. Yes, Yes Y’All (feat. Chali 2na / Debi Nova / Black Thought / will.i.am) (Adams/Dorough/Stewart/Trotter/Tucker) 5.09

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Guru – Jazzmatazz (1993)

FrontCover1Guru’s Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 is a jazz rap album by alternative hip hop artist Guru, released on May 18, 1993 (see 1993 in music) on Chrysalis Records. This album is one of the first albums to combine a live jazz band with hip hop production and rapping. It is the first such project to feature established rappers. Live backing is provided by a band that includes Lonnie Liston Smith, Branford Marsalis, Ronny Jordan, Donald Byrd and Roy Ayers. The album also features vocal collaborations with Carleen Anderson, N’Dea Davenport (of the Brand New Heavies) Dee C Lee and French rapper MC Solaar. The variety of guest artists adds diversity and originality to each track, and gives the album a distinct jazz feel.

Guru, quoted in the album’s liner notes, talked about his natural affinity for both jazz and rap. “Jazz’s mellow tracks, along with the hard rap beat, go hand-in-glove with my voice,” he said.

Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 peaked at #24 and #91 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums and the Billboard 200 albums charts. The single “Trust Me” peaked at #50 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles & Tracks chart. In spite of the lagging American sales, Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 was a commercial success in Europe, where jazz was much more popular in the 1990s.

The song “When You’re Near Me” was featured in Cindy Crawford’s video “The Next Challenge”. (by wikipedia)

Booklet01APersonnel:
Carleen Anderson (vocals on 12.)
Roy Ayers (vibraslap, vibraphone on 08.)
Gary Barnacle (flute, saxophone on 10.)
Zachary Breaux (guitar on 04.)
Donald Byrd (piano, trumpet on 02.)
Lil’ Dap (drums)
N’Dea Davenport (vocals on 03., 09.)
Guru (vocals)
Black Jack (vocals)
DJ Jimmy Jay (scratches)
Ronny Jordan (guitar on 05.)
Simon “The Funky Ginger” Law (keyboards on 03., 12.)
D.C. Lee (vocals on 05.)
Courtney Pine (flute, saxophone on 12,)
Branford Marsalis (saxophone on 04.)
Mickey “Mus Mus” (vocals)
DJ Jazzy Nice (scratches)
Big Shug (vocals on 05.)
Lonnie Liston Smith (keyboards on 06.)
MC Solaar (vocals on 11.)
+
The Cutthroats (vocals)

Booklet02ATracklist:
01. Introduction 1.20
02. Loungin’ 4.38
03. When You’re Near 4.02
04. Transit Ride 3,58
05. No Time To Play 4.54
06. Down The Backstreets 4.47
07. Respectful Dedications 0.54
08. Take A Look (At Yourself) 3.59
09. Trust Me 4.27
10. Slicker Than Most 2.35
11. Le Bien, Le Mal (with MC Solaar) 3.21
12. Sights In The City 5.10

 

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Expo´s Jazz & Joy – Same (1993)

FrontCover1This is a real strange project of German musicians featuring Peter Brötzmann on saxophone.

The Project:
combining the emotional and expressive power of free jazz with progressive hip-hop styles and virtuose rap performances – breathtakingm mindtakingm sudorific – exponential demands – exponential enjoyment. (taken from the original liner notes).

This is not my kind of music, but this blog is called “Many Fantastic Colors” and so I will add this color to this blog. This blog should be a presentation of various styles of music and so … this album is just another and new color for this blog !

Booklet03APersonnel:
Peter Brötzmann (saxophone)
Peter Kowald (bass, vocals)
Jürgen Kausemann (drum programming, keyboards)
Martin Kratzenstein (drum programming, keyboards)
Sainkho Namtchylak (overtone singing, voice)
Dirk Sengotta (drum programming, keyboards)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Ouverture (Kausemann/Kratzenstein) 4.50
02. Deadly To Your Ears (Sengotta/Kowald) 5.19
03. Generation Contact (Kausemann/Kratzenstein) 4.22
04. Pharmacology (Kratzenstein/Kowald) 4.39
05. Artcore (Kausemann/Kratzenstein/Sengotta) 3.03
06. Back Stabbers (Kausemann/Kowald) 4.21
07. Tambourine (Kausemann/Kowald) 2.28
08. Don’t Accept – Ask Why (Kratzenstein/Kowald) 3.56
09. We´re Getting It Together (We´re Not Making It) (Kausemann/Kratzenstein/Kowald) 2.14
10. Welcome Sengotta/Kowald) 4.03
11. Hahahaha (Sainkho) 0.07
12. Reverse Racism (Kausemann/Kowald) 5.08
13. Mixed Mixture (Kausemann) 1.48
14. Deadly Latin (Sengotta) 5.11
15. Underture (Kausemann/Kratzenstein) 4.42

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