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Arnaud Rodrigues portrait Arnaud Rodrigues (1942-2010) was a singer and television star who performed comedic material (and recorded several albums) with Chico Anisio, as well as pursuing his own career as a serious pop musician. Rodrigues is credited as being one of the earliest (if not the first) artist to record reggae music in Brazil, and has worked in a variety of styles, including an early stab at American-style rap. Here's a quick look at his work...


Arnaud Rodrigues "Sound & Pyla" (1970)

Arnaud Rodrigues "Tilim: Trilha Sonora Da Telenovela" (Continental, 1970) (LP)

Arnaud Rodrigues "Murituri" (Continental, 1974)
A cool psychedelic rock-samba gem, with touches of the Northeastern regional rock of Ze Ramalho and Alceu Valenca... Some songs have a samba-funk feel similar to Jorge Ben and Gilberto Gil's work of the same era; other tracks are electric guitar extravaganzas, mixing fuzztones with note-heavy, bluesy solos, while still others have the jazz/orchestral feel of more mainstream MPB. Cult fave Arthur Verocai had a hand in this one, both as a songwriter and a producer/arranger, and fans of his work will want to check this out as well. All in all, an exemplary album of its time. Rodrigues wasn't a great singer, but this is a pretty groovy record.

Baiano & Os Novos Caetanos "Baiano & Os Novos Caetanos, v.1" (CID, 1974)
This "band" was a front for Rodrigues to perform satirical send-ups of the psychedelic strivings of the Brazilian "tropicalia" scene, specifically of artists such as Os Mutantes, Os Novos Baianos and Caetano Veloso. In some ways it's funny, but it's hardly very subtle. It might be hard to get the joke, decades later and outside of hippie-era Brazil, but it still holds some historical and kitsch value. Personally, I prefer Rodrigues' more serious pop efforts recorded under his own name.

Baiano & Os Novos Caetanos "Baiano & Os Novos Caetanos, v.2" (1975)

Arnaud Rodrigues "Som Do Paulinho" (RCA Victor, 1976) (LP)
A very cool, very contemporary '70s MPB album, spanning swank pop, cosmic folk, light soul and funky samba-rock, with relaxed vocals by Rodrigues and cool, solid accompaniment by a crew of studio pros. Although I find some of the Baiano & Os Novos Caetanos material to be too jokey, this is a solid set of sincere, effective and evocative pop music, with some psychedelic trappings, but nothing that's obtrusive or distracts from the songs themselves. Kind of reminds me of Paulo Diniz's albums of similar vintage... Recommended!

Arnaud Rodrigues "Cuca Fresca" (1977)

Arnaud Rodrigues "Redescobrimento" (1978)

Baiano & Os Novos Caetanos "A Volta" (1982)

Arnaud Rodrigues "Sudamerica" (Barclay, 1985) (LP)

Arnaud Rodrigues "Arnaud Rodrigues" (1987)

Arnaud Rodrigues "Coronel Totonho, v.2" (1998)


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