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The Great Arrival ()

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The hype-laden title undoubtedly refers to Sergio Mendes' move to America two years before this album's release, settling in Los Angeles, where this record was made. Clearly he was out to make it big in the U.S.A., for this album tries to move a bit away from Brazil by spotlighting Mendes' jazz and pop piano against the elaborate charts of Clare Fischer, Bob Florence and Dick Hazard. There are contributions from the best-known Brazilians (Edu Lobo, Jobim of course) as well as up-to-the-minute pop tunes "Monday, Monday" and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" and American songbook material like "Here's That Rainy Day" and "Girl Talk," all served up in airplay-sized packages mostly under three minutes in length. Inevitably, then, Mendes' piano doesn't get much room to breathe, but the charts are quite interesting; Florence's are the most big-band-oriented, Fischer's are the most harmonically challenging, and Hazard's lush offerings are the signposts of Mendes' future with Brasil '66. Though an encouraging step forward, Mendes' first big strike was still several months away. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi Hide synopsis

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