Easily the most talented bossa nova group of the '60s, Tamba Trio perfected a breezy, swinging version of bossa vocal-pop that proved incredibly influential in Brazil and throughout the world.
Comprising pianist Luizinho Eça, bassist Bebeto (born Adalberto Castilho), and drummer Helcio Milito, Tamba Trio not only played a wide range of instruments but also contributed incredibly close harmony vocals. (Most bossa nova groups specialized in either vocals or musicianship, but not both.) Taking their name from a type of drum used by Milito, the trio formed in the early '60s and rode a wave of bossa nova popularity through the rest of the decade. From their self-titled 1962 debut, "O Barquinho" became a big hit in Brazil. One year later, their irresistibly swinging version of Jorge Ben's "Mas Que Nada" (recorded for 1963's Avanço LP) became their best-known hit -- it was used most famously by Nike in a 1998 World Cup television commercial. Tamba Trio continued recording into the late '60s, and provided the backing for Edu Lobo's 1967 debut. In 1968, Eça and Bebeto re-formed the band (with Dorio Ferreira on bass and Ohana on drums) as Tamba 4. Though the group's two albums for Creed Taylor through CTI/A&M, We and the Sea and Samba Blim, were among the best work of their career, they failed commercially. Eça has also recorded several albums on his own. ~ John Bush, Rovi