Produced by and featuring will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas,
Timeless is a wholly original blend of music. Will and
Sergio brought in the Black
Eyed Peas, one of hip-hop’s premier artists, and also recruited some of pop
music’s biggest artists, each a
Sergio fan, to contribute to various tracks,
including Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, india.arie, Black
Thought of The Roots, John Legend, Chali 2na of Jurassic 5, Jill Scott, and
Q-Tip, among others.
Timeless, recorded in Brazil and Los Angeles, as a “. .
.wonderful marriage of rhythms, because it’s all African rhythms and haunting
melodies…the same common denominator that brought the samba to Brazil and
brought jazz to America.”
Will says, “Hip-hop is urban to America, but samba and bossa nova are urban to
Brazil. It’s two urban cultures clashing and fusing together beautifully,
because they share a lot of the same qualities.”
Of working with Sergio, Justin Timberlake said, “Sergio‘s creation of chord
progressions has heavily influenced modern R & B, specifically now. He is a
legend and a beautiful person. It was a pleasure to work with him.” Black
Thought of The Roots adds, “I’ve had the opportunity to work with just about
everyone I’ve desired to work with and now the legendary Sergio Mendes! It was
an honor to be able to collaborate with such a cool, unorthodox, timeless and
well-rounded musician. He’s quite an inspiration.”
Sergio has previously recorded with will.i.am and the Black Eyed Peas on their
last two albums as well as their performance together in the 2005 feature film
Be Cool. When they first met,
Sergio says, “Will came to my house with a lot of
old vinyl that I recorded many years ago. And I was so surprised. It was like,
‘Wow!’ He knew every song. He knows every Brazilian riff. I could just feel his
passion for the music. We talked and I said, ‘You know what? You love Brazilian
music. Why don’t we bring the Brazilian music and melodies to the hip-hop urban
world and put them together? I think we can make something really different.’”
A track by track description
1. “Mas que nada”: Sergio & will.i.am thought it was a great idea to remake it
in a bossa nova/hip hop style, to expose it to a new generation on the 40th
anniversary of Sergio’s first recording of it.
2. “That Heat”: Contains a sample of “Slow Hot Wind” and it was Will’s idea to
sample it and bring Erykah into this very catchy track.
3. “Berimbau/Consolaçao”: These two songs were written by legendary virtuoso
guitarist/composer Baden Powell, a friend of Sergio’s from the beginning of
their careers, and Vinicius de Moraes. Gracinha Leporace, who is Sergio’s wife
and also a singer in his band for many years, is the lead singer on this track.
4. “The Frop”: Also recorded by Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66, this song, written by
popular pianist /composer Joao Donato. Will’s choice of Q-Tip for the track was
a perfect one.
5. “Let Me”: Also written by Baden Powell with English lyrics by the
extraordinary Norman Gimbel (who also wrote English lyrics for “The Girl from
Ipanema” and many other Brazilian classics) and Jill Scott brings her very
special touch to this bossa-nova classic.
6. “Bananeira”: Also written by Joao Donato, this time partnered with very
popular singer/composer Gilberto Gil, and features a performance by Mr.Vegas.
7. “Surfboard”: It is impossible to speak of the great Brazilian songbook
without mentioning the gems written by Jobim. It was a perfect vehicle for this
“marriage” between bossa nova & hip hop.
8. “Please Baby Don’t”: Written and sung by John Legend with a wonderfully warm,
sensual vocal and superb bossa nova arrangement; this song is one of the jewels
brought in by Will.
9. “Samba da bençao” (Samba Of The Blessing): In another song by Baden Powell,
also co-written by Vinicius de Moraes, Sergio and Will bring in the #1 rapper
from Brazil, Marcelo D2.
10. “Timeless”: In this collaboration between Sergio, who wrote the
melody, India.Arie, who wrote the lyrics, in which she reminds us that
“kindness is timeless”, and Printz Board who brought in the rhythm track.
11. “Loose ends”: Sergio had the idea to use the intro to his own song, “So Many
Stars”, recorded in 1967, with a beautiful orchestral arrangement by Dave Grusin. Justin Timberlake started singing over it. Later, Will invited Pharaoh Monch to share rapping duties
12. “Fo-Hop”: Written by
Guinga, probably the most important Brazilian composer
of his generation, who is also a very close friend of Sergio’s, this song is a
rhythmic gem. It features
Guinga, Gracinha and again Marcelo D2.
13. “Lamento” (No Morro): This song was one of the many jewels written by
Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes. The guitar arrangement was written
by one of them, Marcus Tardelli.
14. “E Menina”: Written by Joao Donato, this time with lyrics by Gutemberg
Guarabyra.. The vocals are again done by Gracinha.
15. “Yes, Yes, Y’all”: This song was originally recorded by Sergio in his album
My Favorite Things, which came out on Atlantic Records, in 1968. It
works perfectly as a background for the very powerful raps by Black Thought, Chali 2na, Will himself, and sensual vocals by Debi Nova.
Author: World Music Central News Department
World music news from the editors at World Music Central