Tatiana Para – My Moods
8 Tracks; 38 minutes
Tatiana Para can play guitar. The Brazilian woman has absolutely hit it out the park on previous albums that focused on blues or classic rock (including great versions of “Testify” and “All Along The Watchtower.” In her native country, she is revered as a “Blues Goddess.”
But this CD is about as far away from the blues as you can get, except for the first and last track. The CD is appropriately named. My Moods and is a guitar exploration of , well, her moods. This is an entirely instrumental album, which gives her the freedom to explore those moods in any way she likes.
Over the years, there have been several outstanding instrumental blues, rock and R&B recordings. Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Rude Mood”, Santana’s “Soul Sacrifice” and “Samba Pa Ti”, Booker T & The MG’s “Green Onions”, Eric Johnson’s “Cliffs Of Dover”, and just about anything by The Ventures.
What all those terrific songs did was to have either a great tune (Samba Pa Ti) or an amazing groove (Soul Sacrifice, Green Onions).
This CD starts and ends with great grooves and with a nice up-tempo blues exploration, “Blues Party”, reminiscent of SRV, which quickly establishes Para’s chops. As I said, this woman can play. And this would be an excellent tune to play at any blues party.
The final track, “Being Myself” is more aggressively blues/rock and once again, Para shows herself equal to the task. It is easy to hear why she is revered in Brazil as well as by guitarists around the world.
Unfortunately, the rest of the CD doesn’t have either a solid groove or memorable tune. Many of the songs have a very similar beat and tempo. Each song explores a mood, but the mood within the songs doesn’t really go anywhere. They are short on dynamic, rhythmic and melodic variation.
You won’t catch yourself humming any of these tunes after the last strains of the last track fade into the night. But if you like tuneless, but skilled musical explorations on a guitar neck, you will enjoy this album. It has flavors of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, John McLaughlin solo and Mike Oldfield’s less well-known work.
She has gone from blues to prog rock, which is her prerogative as an artist. Most artists want to explore their art, to try new things, to go in new direction, and that’s just what Tatiana Para is doing on this album.
Are these explorations great music. Well, everyone has their own taste, but on many musical levels, this album doesn’t quite succeed. It is too monotone, within each song and across most of the album.
Having said that, there is no question that Ms. Para is a gifted musician with whom I was not familiar before this CD. I have enjoyed listening to her earlier work and I look forward to following her musical journey going forward.