Lani Hall (born November 6, 1945 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American singer and the wife of Herb Alpert.
Her first public appearances occurred in Old Town Chicago in early 1966. At one of those performances, she was heard by Brazilian Bossa Nova pianist/bandleader Sérgio Mendes, who happened to be on tour in Chicago. His group, Brasil ’65, was disbanding, and he invited Hall to come to Los Angeles and be a part of his new project, Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66. She agreed, and the group rehearsed in LA, eventually signing a contract with A&M Records.
Unlike the previous incarnation, Brasil ’66 was an instant success – making a significant impact on the charts with its first single, a version of the Brazilian song “Mas Que Nada“. Much of the song’s appeal was due to the distinctive, multi-tracked vocals of Hall.
A series of popular interpretations followed, including their take on The Beatles‘ “The Fool on the Hill” and “Day Tripper“. Though many associate her with Brasil ’66’s hit rendition of Burt Bacharach’s “The Look of Love” on the album Look Around (which reached #4 on the pop charts in 1968), the lead on that single was actually handled by Mendes’ other singer of that period, Janis Hansen.
The band toured alongside A&M labelmates (and label founder) Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass in 1966. She left Brasil ’66 in 1971 and married Alpert in 1974.
With Alpert assuming production and arranging duties, Hall embarked on a solo career, beginning with 1972’s Sun Down Lady and following up with Hello It’s Me in 1975. She recorded regularly throughout the 70s and 80s, including singing the title song to the James Bond film Never Say Never Again in 1983. In 1984, she again worked with Sérgio Mendes, appearing on his album Confetti.
Beginning in 1982, Hall recorded several successful Latin pop albums in Spanish, culminating in 1985’s Es Facil Amar, produced by Albert Hammond, for which she won theGrammy Award for Best Latin Pop Performance. Among her Spanish hits were “Un Amor Así” and “De Repente El Amór,” duets with José Feliciano and Roberto Carlosrespectively; “Para Vivir Así,” which features Herb Alpert on trumpet; and another duet, “Te Quiero Así” with José José (who also began his career with a bossa nova/jazzband). She recorded “Corazón Encadenado” with Camilo Sesto in 1984.
After raising a family with Alpert and writing fiction, she returned in 1998 with the album Brasil Nativo on the Windham Hill label. In 2008, she reunited with Mendes again, performing vocals on the song “Dreamer” on his album Encanto.
In 2007, she and Alpert began performing with a band consisting of pianist/composer Bill Cantos, bassist Hussain Jiffry and drummer/percussionist Michael Shapiro, developing new arrangements of jazz standards and Brazilian songs. From then until the present, they have continued to tour, and have released two CDs for Concord Music Group,Anything Goes (2009) and I Feel You (2011).