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Magic Lady

Sergio Mendes

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Album Review

Sergio Mendes' 1978 album finds the Brazilian superstar somewhat adrift. Magic Lady is total disco fluff that sounds like it was made by the house band on the lido deck of the Love Boat. Every track has the same frothy beats and cooing vocal combo topped off with shimmering strings, synth-drum fills, and choogling percussion. By the time the disc is over, you sort of have to admire Mendes and company for so fully appropriating the disco ethic and becoming a faceless disco machine. Only the occasional piano run that peeks out from behind the sequins gives any clue that Mendes was once a semi-respected musician. Not that respect will pay the bills. By the '70s, jazz sure didn't, nor did bossa nova. Mendes did the best he could, and by late-'70s standards, the album isn't too disgraceful.

Biography

Born: 11 February 1941 in Niteroi, Brazil

Genre: Brazilian

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

For most of the second half of the '60s, Sergio Mendes was the top-selling Brazilian artist in the United States, charting huge hit singles and LPs that regularly made the Top Five. His records with his group, Brasil '66, regularly straddled the domestic pop and international markets in America, getting played heavily on AM radio stations, both rock and easy listening, and he gave his label, A&M, something to offer light jazz listeners beyond the work of the...
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Magic Lady, Sergio Mendes
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