Not having scored a serious find worth mentioning in a while, I had good hopes of finding something in one of the second hand shops scattered around Dalfsen. We spent a week with the family north-east of the Netherlands close to Zwolle. Luckily, I have some family members who also like to scavenge these second hand boutiques with no competition as they are mostly on the lookout for other stuff or tag along for the dinning that always follows. Having no expectations in terms of what I would come across except a heavy dose of Classical, Religious and let’s call it vintage Dutch music that you have to work your way through often resulting in bitter disappointment. So, you can imagine my enthousiasm when I came across some Brazilian music. After going through a bin rather quickly flipping from cover to cover, the words “Sergio Mendes & Brazil ’66 Fool On The Hill” appeared on a brightly coloured cover. I paused briefly before taking it out as I thought it could be worthwhile to investigate a bit further. What really gave it away was the sticker at the top right corner. It said; estereofōnico. Had it been any other release I would have probably never picked it up, but an original Brazilian pressing by Sergio Mendes & Brazil ‘66 was too good to ignore. Knowing Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 just by having listened to one or two of the most praised albums by fans and critics, the music on the disc was a complete wild card for me. The pop sensibility of most of their work kept me from purchasing a Sergio Mendes record before when exploring what the Brazilian scene had to offer instead opting for less obvious choices as Arthur Verocai or Di Melo. Doing a bit of research, I quickly learned that Fool On The Hill is considered to be one of Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 most revered work. Apart from the music, I also discovered that the record was pretty valuable. Sellers asking between € 30 to € 80 for the same exact copy depending on the condition. I paid a measly € 0,50 for a record that looked to be in pristine condition both the cover and the record itself. Now having listened to the record on my stereo set it is indeed in pristine condition and plays like a brand new record. I quite like the record especially the Brazilian tracks like “Casa Forte“, “Upa, Neguinho” and “Laia Ladaia“, all written by the hugely talented songwriter Edu Lobo. The instrumental arrangements could be a bit less polished and orchestrated for my taste, nevertheless the brilliance of the material and its performers more than makes up for this. Let’s also not forget that the album was released in 1968 and it sonically sounds much better than some of today’s releases. I wasn’t so taken by some of the other tracks such as the covers of The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel, but with the sheer talent of a new line-up the Brasil ‘66 keeps it interesting enough to sit these out. Indeed, those who are patient will be rewarded.
The other second hand shops and one particular record shop located in Zwolle named Minstrel Music yielded two additional finds. The debut of Joss Stone on CD which I couldn’t resist to purchase as it was only €1 and the obscure release of Fuzzy Haskins P-Funk classic A Whole Nother Thang on Tangerine Vinyl released for RSD 2021. The latter came with a heftier price tag unfortunately, but still a solid find as it was only released in the US. All in all, a good day of record hunting. If you happen to be in the neighbourhood of Zwolle, I would definitely recommend not to only visit the record stores but invest some time to browse at some of the many second hand shops in close proximity to the city. You might just be in luck and stumble on something that was waiting to be (re-)discovered.