presents popular jaguar
Popular Jaguar is the latest album in Tó Trips’ solo career, the first after Dead Combo. In what he considers to be his most autobiographical record to date, the guitarist (who has become one of the essential figures in Portuguese music) records the different places where his guitar has taken him, be it physical or imaginary. Built for over three years and edited by Revolve, where he previously released the soundtrack for Surdina, Rodrigo Areias’ film, Popular Jaguar takes its name from the Fender guitar model but is also inspired by the big cat of the same name and its behaviour, an animal that moves serenely so as not to be noticed – something that we can metaphorically conceive in Tó Trips’ attitude towards life and music: a guy who, despite being recognised, tries to live in the shadows. In fact, this is perhaps the image that the photographer Kid Richards tried to capture in the portrait that makes up the cover of the album, in half light, with a Jaguar in his hand, in the shadow of himself, just like the face that we couldn’t see under the top hat that hid him in Dead Combo. Already evident is this luck we have to be able to witness the fingering of Tó Trips, contemporary son of Paredes, exalted in six strings and musical notes that both reflect his country and his eyes outside it. And Popular Jaguar is the only continuity we could ask for after Guitarra 66 (2009, Mbari) and Guitarra Makaka: Dances to an unknown God (2015, Mbari), his previous two albums.
For the live presentation of this record, Trips will be join on stage by Helena Espvall (also present on the record), on cello, a respected figure in the derivations of folk, experimental and free improvisation music, and António Quintino, on double bass, an excellent musician who once accompanied Dead Combo. After these, Santa Maria, Gasolina Em Teu Ventre!, Lulu Blind, Ladrões do Tempo, Timespine or, more recently, Club Makumba, here is Tó Trips, 57 years old, almost forty years career, at the end of the room, doing what he knows best: playing guitar and being discreet.