Sergio Mendes is, arguably, the biggest musical export to have come from Brazil. His brand of jazzy bossa nova was a regular feature on 1960s radio stations, and even now he remains hugely popular, with many recognising his signature tune "Mas Que Nada" from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.
Timeless is his first album of original material in eight years, and it follows the model set by Carlos Santana's recent albums: have a talented but ageing musician as the one constant, and invite an array of well-known, younger stars to freshen up the sound. Thus, we see the likes of Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Justin Timberlake and the Black Eyed Peas all making contributions. Indeed, the influence of the BEP is very strong, with group member (and self-confessed Mendes aficionado) Will.I.Am at the producing helm.
Essentially, Timeless is a cross between Mendes' soft, salsa-tinged melodies and modern day R'n'B. This may seem an odd combination, but actually the blend between old and new works beautifully, as shown by the new version of "Mas Que Nada". Other highlights include the John Legend-led "Please Baby Don't", Stevie Wonder's wonderful harmonica playing on "Berimbau/Consolacao" and the smooth "Loose Ends".
In all, a very good album that should attract new fans for Sergio Mendes.