October 2006

Sergio Mendes
October 7, 2006Massey HallToronto
Timeless: A New Way
by Sean Seaman
Music crosses many boundaries and generations. This was clearly illustrated when Sergio Mendes made a rare appearance at Massey Hall to a sold-out audience on Saturday, October 7. Arguably the most popular Brazilian artist in the world, Mendes fuses Bossa Nova with jazz and funk, creating a potent Brazilian jazz blend. Mendes played a few gems from his most recent album Timeless, but the crowd was taken away when he started getting into his earlier classics from the period when he composed music with his former group, Brasil ‘66. Brasil ‘66 mixed Brazilian, jazz and American popular styles giving them their excellent success in the ‘60’s.

That night, Sergio’s band consisted of three percussionists, one bassist, 2 keyboardists including Sergio himself, and two beautiful singers. The performance was interrupted when two percussionists came out to the front of the stage and started participating in the martial art form capoeira. This Brazilian art form which uses rhythm and agility, put the audience in wonderment. It illustrated the energy of not only the music but also the Brazilian culture.

The percussionists were incredible with their intensity and focus. It was a lesson in Brazil’s love for music. The different percussive instruments of the culture were introduced to the audience in a demonstrative fashion. It was amazing what one percussionist did with a tambourine and his fingertips. Let’s just say, that to see a musician make snake-like rattling sounds from the top surface of a tambourine, was unbelievable.

But the genius behind the keyboard was the person everyone came to see. Mendes was very humble and candid in how he addressed the audience. To step back and watch this legend in international music, was incredible. With the emergence of lounge music over the past 15 years, Sergio Mendes has risen from the dusty vinyl crates and is being acknowledged today by young and old alike as one of the most creative producers of his time. Could this be the reason Sergio called his album Timeless? Regardless of the answer, Sergio has stood the test of time through his music — and great music lives forever.

We welcome your comments and feedback
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Sean Seaman
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The Live Music Report

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