Timeless

Timeless

by Sergio MendesSergio Mendes

CD(Digi-Pak)

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Overview

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. 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. 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.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/14/2006
Label: Concord Records
UPC: 0013431226321
catalogNumber: 2263

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sergio Mendes   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Piano,Vocals,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer,Synthesizer Strings
Paulinho Braga   Drums
Sergio Brandao   Bass
Gracinha Leporace   Vocals
Q-Tip   Rap
Steve Tavaglione   Saxophone
Stevie Wonder   Harmonica
Kleber Jorge   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Cavaquinho
Paul Meyers   Guitar
Erykah Badu   Vocals
Mike Shapiro   Bass,Percussion,Drums,Snare Drums
Meia Noite   Percussion
Bill Brendle   fender rhodes
Vegas   Vocals
will.i.am   Bass,Percussion,Piano,Vocals,Sampling,Rap
Justin Timberlake   Vocals
Pharoahe Monch   Rap
Gary "Sugar Foot" Greenberg   Drums
Jill Scott   Vocals
Chali 2na   Rap
India.Arie   Vocals
Leonardo Nobre   Bass
Tim Izo   Flute,Saxophone
Marcos Alves   Group Member
Chuck Prada   Conga
Mitchell Long   Electric Guitar
John Legend   Vocals
Carlos "Pipo" Chaves   Group Member
Debi Nova   Vocals
Paulo Aragão   Group Member
Marcelo D2   Rap
Maogani Quartet   Acoustic Guitar
Marcus Tardelli   Group Member
Peter Wolf   Bass,Track Performer
Keith Harris   Ride Cymbal,Fills

Technical Credits

Henry Mancini   Composer
Sergio Mendes   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Liner Notes
Jorge Ben   Composer
Vinícius de Moraes   Composer
Bob Dorough   Composer
Gilberto Gil   Composer
Baden Powell   Composer
Alan Bergman   Composer
Marilyn Bergman   Composer
John Burk   Executive Producer
João Donato   Composer
Norman Gimbel   Composer
Antonio Carlos Jobim   Composer
Ben Tucker   Composer
Charles Stewart   Composer
Roland Young   Visual Concept
Paul Erickson   Engineer
Tariq Trotter   Composer
will.i.am   Arranger,Producer,Liner Notes,drum programming
Nicolas Duport   Engineer
Justin Timberlake   Composer
Printz Board   Composer
Guinga   Composer
Gutemberg Guarabyra   Composer
Jason Villaroman   Engineer,drum programming
Padraic Kerin   Engineer
John Legend   Composer
Dave Amason   Producer
Marcus Tardelli   Guitar Arrangements
Peter Wolf   Orchestral Arrangements
William Adams   Composer

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