Wanda Sá

Softly!

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Although she was already a veteran songwriter and recording artist, Wanda de Sah was pegged as "the new thing" by American marketing executives during her stint in Sergio Mendes' first pop incarnation, Brazil '65. Although that group wasn't popular -- it was actually a new collective, Brazil '66, that gained fame -- she was soon signed by Capitol for a record and assigned to arranger Jack Marshall (who had played guitar on many sessions and written the chart for Peggy Lee's "Fever" as well as The Munsters theme). The material came from the Brazilian songbook, at least the parts of it already familiar to Americans (including some Brazil '65 songs as well as Jobim and Getz/Gilberto standards). Although Astrud Gilberto is a touchpoint for Wanda de Sah, she didn't have the same candle power; her singing is more subdued and slightly more intricate, but no more melodic or winsome. The arrangements are about as good as could be expected from a Capitol studio group in the mid-'60s -- cool and professional, and surprisingly in-tune with the Brazilian "touch."

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