Brazilian-born musician and bandleader Sergio Mendes is best known for his commercially successful samba-flavored hits in the second half of the 1960s. Accompanied by his backing band Brasil ’66, songs like “Mas Que Nada,” “Chove Chuva,” and a deep catalog of pop and soul covers grooved along pleasantly, perfect easy listening music. But on the wonderful 1972 release, Primal Roots, Mendes defied commercial expectations and recorded a [for him] very experimental album inspired by the folk music of his native Brazil. Now Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’77, the band utilizes traditional percussion instruments like the agogo, cuica, atabaques, and the berimbau to add an air of exotica and authenticity.
Written by Mendes’ bassist Sebastiao Neto, the beautiful “After Sunrise” gives the impression of a warm summer day slowly and gently beginning, with chiming string instruments and a wordless female “la-la-la” chorus. Perfect reminder on a dreary late-winter day like today that warmer weather is around the corner.