World & Latin

VOICES Notes and news on World & Latin releases

Hear The Brazilian Enchantment

28 JAN 08 JOHN C. BRUENING

Encanto, Sergio Mendes' forthcoming follow-up to the compelling and highly acclaimed 2006 opus, Timeless, continues to blend old-school Latin jazz and pop with rap, hip-hop and other contemporary beats.

A couple tracks have surfaced early, including "Funky Bahia" (QT WM) a highly rhythmic but unmistakably breezy number that features Will.i.am and a full chorus singing the praises of the easygoing party life. "The Look of Love" (QT WM) is a bit more atmospheric, building on the basic melody and chorus of the original composition, but some new lyrics -- delivered by Fergie, somewhere halfway between melody and spoken-word -- conjure up steamy imagery that the original merely hinted at.

According to the pre-release buzz, Encanto was recorded in Rio and Bahia, with the help of an incredibly versatile Brazilian percussion section and an international list of guest players that includes Juanes (Colombia), Carlinhos Brown and Vanessa da Mata (Brazil), Dreams Come True (Japan), Zap Mama (Belgium) and Jovanotti (Italy). In addition to Fergie, other voices from the States include Natalie Cole, Herb Alpert and Lani Hall (Alpert's wife, and a vocalist from Mendes' original band, Brasil '66).

This one promises to dig even deeper into the Brazilian groove, but with a diverse chorus of voices from every corner of the globe. Look for it April 15.