Taiguara (b. Taiguara Chalar da Silva, 1945-1996) is one of those guess-you had-to-be-there kind of artists... Born in Uruguay, he came to Brazil at age three and grew up in Sao Paulo, which was the cradle of Brazilian rock'n'roll. Like many '60s stars, he found success in the era's competitive song festivals and emerged as a sort of teen-oriented pop star; he also fell afoul of the military dictatorship that took power in 1964, and went into exile for most of the 1970s, while many of his records were banned in Brazil. The you-had-to-be-there part with comes with much of the music he recorded -- a lot of it sounds florid and poppy, and may not appeal to non-Brazilians. Some, though, reflects the youthful vigor of the jovem guarda era, as well as the experimentalism of '70s MPB. Here's a quick look at his work...
Taiguara "Meus Momentos" (EMI, 1994)
This best-of had very little on it to hold my attention... Mainly florid, but bland folk-pop, like a watered-down version of Bread, or something. I assume this has also been expanded into a 2-CD set, along with the other Meus Momentos collections, but I haven't felt impelled to track that version down.
Taiguara "Serie Bis" (EMI, 2000)
A 2-CD set that largely replicates the Meus Momentos collection listed above.
Taiguara "Colecao Talento" (EMI, 2004)
Taiguara "Serie Retratos" (EMI, 2004)
Taiguara "Taiguara!" (Philips, 1965)
The premiere album of this soft-edged MPB singer opens with a bang: "Samba De Copa Na Mao," written by Taiguara (along with about half the other songs), has an explosive, energetic quality, reminiscent of contemporaries such as Edu Lobo and Marcos Valle. His vocals are youthful, expansive and jubilant, the rhythms are playful and dynamic. Things settle down pretty quickly, though, as slower pop ballads start to predominate, prefiguring the more placid style that become his hallmark. As far as Taiguara's more vital, vibrant side goes, this early album, with arrangements by Luis Chaves, is one of your best bets. Worth checking out!
Taiguara "Cronica Da Cidade Amada" (TV Soundtrack) (Philips, 1966)
Taiguara/Claudette Soares/Jongo Trio "Primeiro Tempo 5x0" (Philips, 1966)
Taiguara "O Vencedor De Festivais" (Odeon, 1968)
Taiguara "Taiguara" (Odeon, 1968)
Taiguara "Hoje" (Odeon, 1969)
(Arrangements by Paulo Moura)
Fans of soft, romantic pop vocals and even Latin American boleros may find this an appealing album... Those of us looking for something with a little more bite may find it rather slow going. Taiguara gets a little wiggy and softcore psychedelic on a couple of tracks, but mostly this is pretty conservative and syrupy. Not my cup of tea.
Taiguara "Viagem" (Odeon, 1970)
(Arrangements by Leonardo Bruno & Maestro Gaya)
I've been mystified by some of Taiguara's EMI best-ofs -- mostly because they are so appallingly insipid. This early album goes a little way towards explaining the credibility he retained later... There are some creative pop arrangements, admittedly derivative of North American/European soft-pop AM radio fodder (Timmy Thomas and the like)... But still, this had decidedly more vigor than, say, Wanderley Cardoso's vocals albums. There's a strong goofiness factor here which may make it appealling to fans of French pop and soundtrack kitsch. A couple of tracks feature backup by the mildly proggish band Som Imaginario (which spawned the career of keyboard wizard Wagner Tiso).
Taiguara "Carne E Osso" (Odeon, 1971)
Taiguara "Piano E Viola" (Odeon, 1972) (LP)
(Produced by Milton Miranda & Lindolfo Gaya)
A spacey, expansive, stripped-down set featuring just Taiguara playing keyboards (and some guitar) while singing with light orchestrations behind him, and a few formless vocal choruses. It's not much of a pop record, but rather an album of spiritually restless ballads, heavy on poetic and romantic yearning, a little taxing after the first few songs, but also a very sincere and earnest work of art. Although it has a lot of the usual-suspects Odeon crew involved, this is a relatively restrained MPB album, with most of the emoting and exaggerated melodrama coming from Taiguara, and not the arrangements. Worth checking out, although not maybe quite what you'd put on for recreational listening. The second half, where the guitars kick in, has more of a conventional rock-pop MPB feel.
Taiguara "Fotografias" (Odeon, 1973)
Taiguara "Let The Children Hear The Music" (EMI, 1974)
Taiguara "Imyra, Tayra, Ipy" (EMI-Odeon, 1975)
Taiguara "Cancoes De Amor E Liberdade" (Continental, 1984) (LP)
Taiguara "Brasil Afri" (Movieplay, 1994)
Taiguara "Festivais" (Microservice Brasil, 2011)
Claudya "...Canta Taiguara" (RGE, 1998)
Pery Ribero "Tributo A Taiguara" (Movieplay/Ovacao, 1999)
Various Artists "A VOZ DA MULHER NA OBRA TAIGUARA" (Tratore, 2011)
Female singers pay tribute to Taiguara, including Vania Bastos, Fafa de Belem, Tereza Cristina, Luciana Mello, Claudette Soares and numerous others (including several more obscure artists...yay!)
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