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Caetano Veloso - The Best of Caetano Veloso

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The Best of Caetano Veloso

CAetano Veloso

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It is understandable that Elektra/Nonesuch deemed an overview of Caetano Veloso's output on the label appropriate, but naming this collection The Best of Caetano Veloso is audacious. Veloso has been a pioneer of Brazilian pop since 1967, when his debut album sparked one of Brazil's most famous movements in music and politics, the legendary Tropicalia movement. Presumably due to publishing rights, Elektra/Nonesuch did not access the vaults of the Phillips label, which, along with that first album, contain the first 20 years of Veloso's output. This is fine and dandy, but to reiterate: the 12 years spanning the collected material here do not make a considerable enough dent in Veloso's 30-plus-year career as an influential recording artist to tag "Best Of" to the cover of this release and leave it at that. In fact, it is a misleading slap in the face. That aside, Elektra/Nonesuch has pieced together a nice collection of songs Veloso recorded for them between the years 1989 and 2001. It is astonishing to note how much Veloso has continued to evolve with finesse through his career, never rooting himself in a single place, but instead exploring constantly. His arrangements are sometimes sparse, sometimes gorgeously complex, sometimes dissonant, and sometimes wild. Most of these tendencies are explored on this collection, from the beautiful and lush "Manhatã" to the polyphony of "13 de Maio" to the string quartet and vocal waltz "Fina Estampa" to the rhythmic and melodic glory of "Un Tom." It is easy to become so lost in the marvelous organicity of Veloso's compositions and his downy voice that the diversity and calculations of his arrangements become an afterthought. This is a mystifying effect -- one does not have to dissect these songs because they are so natural; however, once the nuances are placed under the scientific ear, endless imagination and innovation are revealed. There have been many attempts to describe this imagination and innovation Veloso exudes to an American audience over the years, as David Byrne's liner notes state, without success, because the comparisons to the founding fathers of Western music are invalid. Byrne points out that Veloso's contributions to the world's music stage rival Lennon/McCartney melodically, Dylan poetically, and the inventiveness of Neil Young, Serge Gainsbourg, Stevie Wonder, and others. He has a point; no music fan ever refers to the music of Paul Simon by stating who Simon sounds like, simply because Paul Simon sounds only like Paul Simon, and while it is difficult to impress such a concept on the ears of those not familiar with Veloso, he is an artist of such magnitude and should be recognized as such. The Best of Caetano Veloso provides much to back this up and is an excellent starting point for the uninitiated, even if it pretends almost two-thirds of Veloso's remarkable career never existed.
© Gregory McIntosh /TiVo

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The Best of Caetano Veloso

Caetano Veloso

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1
O Estrangeiro (The Stranger)
Caetano Veloso
00:06:16

Peter Scherer, Producer, Keyboards - CAetano Veloso, Composer, MainArtist - Tony Lewis, Drums - Bill Frisell, Guitar - Nana Vasconcelos, Percussion, Vocals - ARTO LINDSAY, Producer, Guitar - Francis Manzella, Additional Engineer - Rober Moutenot, Mixer, Engineer

2003 Nonesuch Records 1989 PolyGram do Brasil Ltda.

2
Manhata (Para Lulu Santos)
Caetano Veloso
00:05:17

CAetano Veloso, MainArtist

2003 Nonesuch Records 1997 PolyGram Brazil

3
13 de maio
Caetano Veloso
00:03:36

CAetano Veloso, Composer, MainArtist

2003 Nonesuch Records 2000 Polygram Brasil ltda. Exclusively licensed to Nonesuch Records.

4
Fina estampa
Caetano Veloso
00:02:36

Jaques Morelenbaum, Cello - CAetano Veloso, Vocals, MainArtist - Bernardo Bessler, Violin - Michel Bessler, Violin - Chabuca Grande, Writer - Marie Christine Springel, Viola

2003 Nonesuch Records 2003 Nonesuch Records

5
Haiti
Caetano Veloso e Gilberto Gil
00:04:18

Moreno Veloso, Cello - Gilberto Gil, Composer, Guitar, Vocals - Liminha, Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion, Bass - CAetano Veloso, Composer, Lyricist, Vocals - Ramiro Mussoto, Programmer - Caetano Veloso e Gilberto Gil, MainArtist

2003 Nonesuch Records 1994 Elektra Entertainment

6
Baiao Da Penha
Caetano Veloso
00:03:26

CAetano Veloso, MainArtist

2003 Nonesuch Records 1991 PolyGram do Brasil Ltda.

7
Cucurrucucu Paloma (Live 1995)
Caetano Veloso
00:03:58

Tomas Mendez Sosa, Composer, Lyricist - CAetano Veloso, MainArtist

2003 Nonesuch Records 1995 Universal Music Brazil

8
Um tom
Caetano Veloso
00:02:30

CAetano Veloso, MainArtist

2003 Nonesuch Records 1997 PolyGram Brazil

9
Tradição
Caetano Veloso e Gilberto Gil
00:05:53

Gilberto Gil, Composer, Lyricist, Guitar, Vocals - CAetano Veloso, Vocals - Bidinho, Flugelhorn - Zé Carlos, Alto Saxophone - Marcio Montarroyos, Flugelhorn - Leo Gandelman, Tenor Saxophone - Serginho Trombone, Trombone - Caetano Veloso e Gilberto Gil, MainArtist - Nico Assunc?o, Bass

2003 Nonesuch Records 1994 Elektra Entertainment

10
Que Nao Se Ve Come Tu Mi Vuoi
Caetano Veloso
00:04:14

Nino Rota, Composer - CAetano Veloso, Producer, MainArtist - T. Amurri, Lyricist - Antonio "Moogie" Canazio, Engineer - Portugese lyrics: Caetano Veloso, Lyricist

2003 Nonesuch Records 1999 Universal Music

11
Michelangelo Antonioni
Caetano Veloso
00:03:45

CAetano Veloso, Composer, MainArtist

2003 Nonesuch Records 2000 Polygram Brasil ltda. Exclusively licensed to Nonesuch Records.

12
Itapua
Caetano Veloso
00:03:37

CAetano Veloso, MainArtist - Sadao Watanabe, Composer

2003 Nonesuch Records 1991 PolyGram do Brasil Ltda.

13
Onde o rio e mais baiano
Caetano Veloso
00:03:21

CAetano Veloso, MainArtist

2003 Nonesuch Records 1997 PolyGram Brazil

14
Un vestido y un amor
Caetano Veloso
00:04:10

Fito Paez, Writer - CAetano Veloso, Vocals, MainArtist - Bernardo Bessler, Violin - Michel Bessler, Violin - Walter Hack, Violin - José Alves, Violin - Ricardo Amado, Violin - Pascoal Perrota, Violin - Iura Ranevsky, Cello - Alceu de Almeida Reis, Cello - Alfredo Vidal, Violin - Carlos Eduardo Hack, Violin - Marie Christine Springel, Viola - Denner Campolini, Bass - Giancarlo Parschi, Lead Violin - Jesuina Passarolo, Viola

2003 Nonesuch Records 2003 Nonesuch Records

15
Na baixa do sapateiro
Caetano Veloso
00:03:45

CAetano Veloso, MainArtist

2003 Nonesuch Records 1997 PolyGram Brazil

Album Description

It is understandable that Elektra/Nonesuch deemed an overview of Caetano Veloso's output on the label appropriate, but naming this collection The Best of Caetano Veloso is audacious. Veloso has been a pioneer of Brazilian pop since 1967, when his debut album sparked one of Brazil's most famous movements in music and politics, the legendary Tropicalia movement. Presumably due to publishing rights, Elektra/Nonesuch did not access the vaults of the Phillips label, which, along with that first album, contain the first 20 years of Veloso's output. This is fine and dandy, but to reiterate: the 12 years spanning the collected material here do not make a considerable enough dent in Veloso's 30-plus-year career as an influential recording artist to tag "Best Of" to the cover of this release and leave it at that. In fact, it is a misleading slap in the face. That aside, Elektra/Nonesuch has pieced together a nice collection of songs Veloso recorded for them between the years 1989 and 2001. It is astonishing to note how much Veloso has continued to evolve with finesse through his career, never rooting himself in a single place, but instead exploring constantly. His arrangements are sometimes sparse, sometimes gorgeously complex, sometimes dissonant, and sometimes wild. Most of these tendencies are explored on this collection, from the beautiful and lush "Manhatã" to the polyphony of "13 de Maio" to the string quartet and vocal waltz "Fina Estampa" to the rhythmic and melodic glory of "Un Tom." It is easy to become so lost in the marvelous organicity of Veloso's compositions and his downy voice that the diversity and calculations of his arrangements become an afterthought. This is a mystifying effect -- one does not have to dissect these songs because they are so natural; however, once the nuances are placed under the scientific ear, endless imagination and innovation are revealed. There have been many attempts to describe this imagination and innovation Veloso exudes to an American audience over the years, as David Byrne's liner notes state, without success, because the comparisons to the founding fathers of Western music are invalid. Byrne points out that Veloso's contributions to the world's music stage rival Lennon/McCartney melodically, Dylan poetically, and the inventiveness of Neil Young, Serge Gainsbourg, Stevie Wonder, and others. He has a point; no music fan ever refers to the music of Paul Simon by stating who Simon sounds like, simply because Paul Simon sounds only like Paul Simon, and while it is difficult to impress such a concept on the ears of those not familiar with Veloso, he is an artist of such magnitude and should be recognized as such. The Best of Caetano Veloso provides much to back this up and is an excellent starting point for the uninitiated, even if it pretends almost two-thirds of Veloso's remarkable career never existed.
© Gregory McIntosh /TiVo

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