Here are two great sides from A&M of the Brazilian variety that for whatever reason never made it out as a commercial release. The promotional only white label release is an interesting thing as the reason for its limited release can be a result of a number of different situations. Maybe they tested them out as promos to see if there was interest and there wasn't . . . Maybe the group switched record labels, which could be the case for both of these as the Sergio track was supposedly recorded during the sessions for the "Primal Roots" album on A&M and the following album, Love Music, came out on Bell in 1973. Tamba 4 released two albums on A&M before moving back to Brazil and while I have no idea when this single came out, I think it was after their two albums as the song "California Soul" didn't see the light of day until 1968 when the 5th Dimension and Marvin & Tammi recorded it. We may never know why these records were never released commercially, but I think it's fair to say it wasn't because of poor quality.
Sergio Mendes & Brazil '77 - The Crab (Karan - gai - jo)
This song is great for a number of reasons: 1) It's a Joao Donato original tune that was far as I know was never recorded by anyone other than Sergio's troop; 2) It comes from the sessions for one of Sergio's most underrated albums "Primal Roots" which saw Sergio getting back to roots and its the one album that actually sounds like some other stuff being released in Brazil from the same time period; and lastly, 3) It's freakin' weird. Listen to that strange scream in the background!
Tamba 4 - California Soul
Sure, there's no shortage of cover versions of "California Soul", but how many feature whispy portuguese accented vocals and strange organ sounds? Just this one.