The Tropicalia in Furs article got me going through a huge box of 45’s to try and find what Brazilian music I actually had. With the exception of Jorge Ben and artists like Luis Bonfa, Astrud Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim, I really don’t have that much heat. I was definitely turned on to a whole slew of stuff from Allen Thayer of Soul Spectrum fame, and that DJ Nuts crazy breaks mix Wax Poetics put out a few years ago. That kind of stuff I never found out in the field. However, a guy who I really always bought when I saw it in the field was Sergio Mendes. I always found his stuff really great, smooth, and sometimes funky. It may not be some rare Brazilian Psych heat, but it’s some solid music all together. Here’s Sergio on his own doing a cover of a tune written by Schoolhouse Rock genius Bob Dorough and bassist Ben Tucker, “Comin’ Home Baby” on Atlantic Records from 1967.
I’ve written about Sergio Mendes before, and even though it’s a rainy mess today, a record like this transports you directly back to a sunny day and Summer. It’s a side like this that of course shows Sergio’s diversity, how he injects that Brazilian vibe throughout this tune. Originally a hit for Mel Tourme in 1962, Mendes took a shot at this side on his 1967 Lp Favorite Things. This was the last of the Atlantic Lps as Mendes and Brazil ’66 were peaking over at A & M. Throughout the record, Mendes (on piano, harpsichord, and electric piano) continued to spotlight the fresh Brazilian songwriters like Edú Lobo, Dori Caymmi, Baden Powell, Chico Buarque, and Caetano Veloso while linking up with arranger Dave Grushin (who arranged and orchestrated this side), guitarist John Pisano, Tom Scott on saxophone/ flute, Dom Um Romao on drums, Larry Nechtel on bass, and Joao Donato and Moacir Santos on percussion. Perhaps this was a chance for Atlantic to cash in on Mendes as his more commercial stuff was being fed to the masses, and even as that was going on, Mendes still was keeping it moving in his own way. This cover song is proof of that. Keep Diggin’!