Three bossa nova gems from Wanda Sa – packaged together in one great set! First up is Vagamente – a stunning early bossa session by Wanda Sa – the singer who recorded for Capitol in the US under the name Wanda De Sah – but who sounds even better here in her native Brazil! Roberto Menescal put the session together, and it's filled with all of the inventive twists and turns of his own 60s work on Elenco – bits of organ, piano, flute, and percussion all sliding around magically underneath the vocals – played by a variety of groups led by Menescal, Tenorio Jr, Luiz Carlos Vinhas, and Deodato! But even more than the instrumentation, Wanda's vocals are really the star of the set – a bit breathy and nicely restrained – almost like Nara Leao in her youth, and perfectly recorded in the best RGE tradition! Titles include "Adriana", "Tristeza De Nos Dois", "Vagamente", "Vivo Sonhando", "Encontro", "Inutil Paisagem", and "E Vem O Sol". Next is Brasil 65 – an album issued under the name of Sergio Mendes, and one of his first albums to mix together bossa jazz and vocals! The approach here is a bit more like vintage bossa dates from Brazil – or a bit like some of the Verve
bossa records too – as Sergio's core trio is at the heart of every tune, playing with a great jazzy approach – then augmented in different ways by alto and flute from Bud Shank, guitar from Rosinha De Valenca, and vocals from the lovely Wanda De Sah! Production is perfect – really in a classic Elenco Records mode – and titles include "Let Me", "Consolacao", "Tristeza Em Mim", "Muito A Vontade", "Reza", "Berimbau", and "Aquarius". Softly is last – a great 60s bossa album on Capitol! The album's got a wonderfully laidback feel – languid, yet jazzy, with the feel of some of Astrud Gilberto's best work on Verve
, yet with vocals that are possibly better – thanks to Wanda's pedigree in Brazilian pop. Recordings were done in California, not Rio – and arrangements are handled by the great Jack Marshall – who's got a strong ear for keeping things interesting with a mix of strings, Latin rhythms, and Capitol pop shadings. Titles include "Aqua De Beber", "Ho Ba La La", "Sweet Happy Life", "The Dreamer", and a great version of "Aruanda".