What great timing! We recently reviewed a similar work of fusion and really warmed up to the genre — an amalgam of jazz, funk, hip-hop, Brazilian rap, and electronica. Now here comes an old friend from the past injecting a jarring jolt of reggae, bossa nova, salsa, samba, disco, and Latino influence to serve up an irresistible high energy “get-up-and-dance” masterpiece. Sergo Mendes’ Bom Tempo comes in two versions: original and “remixed”; both include twelve tracks.
Mendes and various incarnations of “Brazil ‘66” have been working since the early sixties and burst onto the scene in 1968 with a cover of “The Look of Love” by Bacharach-David. With the support of Herb Alpert (touring partners), Mendes went on to score several top forty hits with covers of “The Fool on the Hill” and “Scarborough Fair”. Mendes has persevered for over forty years and now brings us Bom Tempo (good times) and it sounds as if he and the artists he assembled for this project enjoyed every cut. This is a high energy, feel good, can’t sit still listening experience.
Woodwinds, strings, percussion and brass take the lead with synthesizer and rhythm tracks providing a stable background. The live musicians add so much and relieved me of my fears that this would be a “pre-programmed electronic disco” quagmire. All the musicians are named for each track in lengthy, booklet style liner notes. Five different vocalists are featured on several of the numbers with my favorites being Carlinhos Brown and Nayanna Holley on both “You and I” and “Emorio”. Brown handles lead vocals on “Magalenha,” a hot folk samba that demands the listener get up and move.
Mendes produced this CD himself and credits Jack Burk as executive producer. Bom Tempo Brasil - Remixed features remixes by Paul Oakenfold, Moto Blanco, Mario C and Bimbo Jones, and includes a new remix of “Mas Que Nada” by NERVO.