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Tania Maria portrait One of Brazil's most successful jazz artists, singer and pianist Tania Maria actually left her home country very early in her career, emigrating to Europe so quickly, that some folks don't really consider her a "Brazilian" artist at all... Still, that samba beat is in there, along with the Cuban-style latin riffs and all the other jazz motifs. I haven't had much opportunity to listen to (or revisit) many of her records, but as time permits, I hope to add to this page soon...


Tania Maria "Apresentamos Tania Maria" (Continental/Warner, 1969)
(Produced by Romeo Nunes)

The Brazilian debut album by this future Latin jazz star was both lively and ambitious, yet fatally hampered by sub-par production. The band, notably its piano and percussion, fade and hover near the edge of inaudibility, leaving Maria's voice more prominent than perhaps it should have been. She's a bit wild as well, even a bit flat; it would take a few years for her to really find her way around the studio and to get a handle on her own musical style. Still, this is a worthwhile record for Braz-jazz fans to check out, not simply because it marks to the start of a notable career. It also breaks the mould of the bossa trio tedium that marked Brazilian jazz for most of the 'Sixties, and while she covers material by Noel Rosa and Caetano Veloso, Maria also introduced newer material by up and coming jazz artists such as bandmember Mauricio Einhorn. Edson Machado also pitches in, providing lively (but obscured) percussion throughout. Worth checking out, but still kinda clumsy.

Tania Maria "Olha Quen Chega" (EMI-Odeon, 1971)
(Produced by Milton Miranda, Lindolfo Gaya & Mario Duarte)

Her last Brazilian album before Maria set out for Europe found her in fine form, even if it may be a bit taxing to the casual listener. The first third of the album is remarkably understated, a straightforward bossa nova mode that is more "Brazilian" than much of her later work; midway through, though, Mestre Gaya ratchets things up a notch or two and consciously tries to make this a challenging, jazz-oriented modernist spectacle. "Ai! Que Saudades De Amelia" is the start of it, and is the one outright irritating song on the album. Later, "Ruas Do Rio" has swirly, Rogerio Duprat-style tropicalia string arrangements and an aggressively experimental jazz approach defines the rest of the disc. You can feel the strain involved: the effort is palpable, and more often than not, the groove gets lost amid the pounding, punchy arrangements. Even on a mellow classic such as Joao De Barro and Pixinguinha's elegant melody "Carinhoso," one feels a bit pummeled by all the brass and brassy vocals, and the rhythm-heavy attack of the arrangements. Still, for those looking for something "new" under the sun, this might give you something to chew on... It's certainly worth checking out if you are a fan of Maria's work and want to learn more about how her career developed.

Tania Maria "Via Brazil, v.1" (1975)

Tania Maria "Via Brazil, v.2" (1975)

Tania Maria "Live At Jazzhus Montmarte, Copenhagen" (Baystate, 1978)

Tania Maria "Brazil With My Soul" (Barclay, 1978)

Tania Maria & Niels-Henning Orsted-Pedersen "Tania Maria & Niels-Henning Orsted-Pedersen" (Medley, 1979)
(Produced by Neils Christiansen & Paul Bruun)

A live set, recorded November1-2, 1978 at the Jazzhus Montmartre...

Tania Maria "Piquant" (Concord, 1981)

Tania Maria "Taurus" (Concord, 1982)

Tania Maria "Come With Me" (Concord, 1983)

Tania Maria "Love Explosion" (Concord, 1984)

Tania Maria "The Wild!" (Concord, 1986)

Tania Maria "Made In New York" (EMI, 1987)

Tania Maria "The Lady From Brazil" (EMI, 1988)

Tania Maria "Forbidden Colors" (Capitol, 1989)

Tania Maria "Bela Vista" (Capitol-World Pacific, 1990)

Tania Maria "Outrageous" (Concord, 1993)

Tania Maria "Alive And Cooking" (Westwind, 1995)

Tania Maria "No Comment" (TKM, 1995)

Tania Maria "Bluesilian" (TKM, 1996)

Tania Maria "Europe" (TKM, 1997)

Tania Maria "Viva Brazil" (Concord Picante, 2000)
I'll admit I've never really tracked Tania Maria's career all that closely, she always seemed a bit too commercial and mainstream for me... That's why I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is a much more substantive album than I would have imagined. It's latin-jazzy, sure, but also pretty solidly "Brazilian." She doesn't dip into irritating or drippy commercial cliches, and mostly keeps things moving along at a bouncy clip. The album itself gets a little monochromatic, but the individual tracks stand up well & are a lot grittier and more engaging than most contemporary, mainstream jazz is these days. Definitely worth checking out, if this is your bag.

Tania Maria "Viva Maria" (Concord, 2001)

Tania Maria "Live At The Blue Note" (Concord, 2002)

Tania Maria "Intimidade" (Blue Note, 2005)


Tania Maria "The Best Of Tania Maria" (Blue Note, 1993)

Tania Maria "The Very Best Of Tania Maria" (Nascente, 1999)

Tania Maria "Outrageously Wild" (Concord, 2003)
A 2-CD set that combines the albums Outrageous and The Wild! (Both listed above...)


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