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Best of Caetano Veloso

The Best of Caetano Veloso

by Caetano Veloso
Since finding his American home at the Nonesuch label in 1989, Caetano Veloso has released a string of reliably excellent recordings, each one vastly different than the last, yet united by the mature songcraft of this Brazilian institution. As liner notes scribe David Byrne puts it, this collection represents Veloso in his fourth stage -- the bossa nova interpreter,


Since finding his American home at the Nonesuch label in 1989, Caetano Veloso has released a string of reliably excellent recordings, each one vastly different than the last, yet united by the mature songcraft of this Brazilian institution. As liner notes scribe David Byrne puts it, this collection represents Veloso in his fourth stage -- the bossa nova interpreter, tropicalia firebrand, and pop star have made way for the restless artistic explorer. Veloso can record anything and find an ear for it, thanks to the self-assured grace and weight he'd bring to even the most unlikely project. Consider this disc's offerings, from the electronica-fashioned "O Estrangeiro" to the swooning "Que Não Se Vé (Come Tu Mi Vuoi)" to the buoyant samba "Onde O Rio E Mas Baiano" from the jazzy Livro. Then there are two tracks from his Spanish-language Latin American Songbook sampler, Fina Estampa, a pair from 1994's reunion with Gilberto Gil, Tropicália 2, a live track, and more. Throughout, the constant is Veloso's soothing quaver of a voice and his philosophical poetry. The latter is grounded as much in rhythmic Brazilian place names as in an expansive view of appropriate song-fodder: Tropicalista that he his, everything is grist for his guitar, from Italian cinema to lit-crit, with dashes of local and world history and shout-outs to Brazilian music icons such as Tom Jobim. That Veloso makes it all seem so effortlessly sexy is reason enough to dip into this toothsome collection.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Gregory McIntosh
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.
Blender - Tom Moon
This set... provides an excellent introduction to the bold, mature artist who's obsessed with texture and hue.

Product Details

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Caetano Veloso   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Human Whistle,Hand Clapping
Gilberto Gil   Guitar,Vocals
Arto Lindsay   Guitar
Raul Mascarenhas   Tenor Saxophone
Tony Lewis   Drums
Zeca Assumpção   Acoustic Bass
Carlinhos Brown   Pandeiro,Surdo,Shaker,Cascara
Bill Frisell   Guitar
Leo Gandelman   Baritone Saxophone
Nara Gil   Vocals
Walmir Gil   Trumpet,Flugelhorn,Soloist
Liminha   Bass,Keyboards,E-bow
Carlos Malta   Flute
Torcuato Mariano   Acoustic Guitar
Marcio Montarroyos   Flugelhorn
Jota Moraes   Xylophone,Vibes
Jaques Morelenbaum   Cello,Conductor,Hand Clapping,Soloist
Ramiro Mussoto   Kalimba,Berimbau,Hand Clapping
Giancarlos Spala Pareschi   Violin
Alceu Reis   Cello
Peter Scherer   Keyboards
Serginho Trombone   Trombone
Alceu de Almeida Reis   Cello
Arthur Maia   Bass
Jorge Helder   Bass
Jesuina Noronha Passaroto   Viola
Moreno Veloso   Percussion,Cello,Conga,Electric Guitar,Tambourine,Vocals,Surdo,Hand Clapping,Bumbo,Guest Appearance
Jose Carlos Ramos   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Marcelo Bernardes   Flute
Michel Bessler   Violin
Carlos Eduardo Hack   Violin
Bernardo Bessler   Violin
Marcelo Costa   Percussion,Drums,Berimbau,Hand Clapping,talking drum,Bacurinhas,Blocks
Walter Hack   Violin
Jose Alves   Violin
Gustavo de Dalva   Timbaus
Marcelo Martins   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Nico Assuncao   6-string bass
Luis Brasil   Guitar,Drums,Berimbau,Hand Clapping,Bacurinhas
Drauzio Chagas   Tuba
Joao Daltro   Violin
Ismael Junior Deoliveira   French Horn
Jairo Diniz   Viola
David Ganc   Flute
Marcio Eymard Malard   Cello
Dari Moraes   Electric Guitar,Hand Clapping
Iura Ranevsky   Cello
Flavia Rosa   Cello
Maria Christine Springuel   Viola
Ubaldo Versolato   Baritone Saxophone
Pascoal Perrotta   Violin
Marcos Amma   Conga
Carlos Bala   Drums,Drum (Bông)
Daniel Garcia   Tenor Saxophone
Andréa Earnest Dias   Flute
Antonella Pareschi   Violin
Dadi   Hand Clapping
Belo Veloso   Vocals
Francois de Lima   Trombone
Nahor Gomes   Flugelhorn
Proveta   Alto Saxophone
Du   Surdo,Hand Clapping,Timbaus,Kettle Drums
Vittor Santos   Trombone
Zé Canuto   Alto Saxophone
Flávio Melo   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Phillip Doyle   French Horn
Vitor Alcantara   Tenor Saxophone
Jorge Ribeiro   Hand Clapping
Márcio Victor   Conga,Drums,Atabaque,Surdo,Djembe,Hand Clapping,Soloist,Bacurinhas,Kettle Drums
Ricardo Amando   Violin
Denner Campolina   Bass,Double Bass
Sueli Faria   Baritone Saxophone
Marie Christine S. Bessler   Viola
Antônio Augusto   French Horn
Bindinho   Flugelhorn
Léo Bit Bit   Djembe,Agogo
Alfredo Videl   Violin
Ulisses DeAbreu   Trombone
Vinícius Assumpção Dorin   Tenor Saxophone
Boghan   Djembe,Agogo,Chocalhos
Valdir Ferreira   Trombone
Jotinha   Vibes
Naná Nasconcelos   Percussion,Voices
Hudson Nogueira   Alto Saxophone
Pinduca   Chimes
Jorge Ranewsky   Cello
Leonardo San Leandro   Trombone
Ricardo Taboada   Viola

Technical Credits

Nino Rota   Composer
Caetano Veloso   Composer,Producer,Horn Arrangements
David Byrne   Liner Notes
Billy Joel   Composer
Gilberto Gil   Composer,Producer,Horn Arrangements
Arto Lindsay   Producer,translation
Fito Páez   Composer
Carlinhos Brown   Sound Effects
Robert Hurwitz   Executive Producer
Liminha   Producer,Horn Arrangements,drum programming,Percussion Programming
Jaques Morelenbaum   Arranger,Producer,String Arrangements,Wind Arrangements,String Conductor
Ramiro Mussoto   drum programming,Drum Samples
Peter Scherer   Producer
Serginho Trombone   Horn Arrangements
Mayrton Bahia   Artistic Director
Ary Barroso   Composer
Max Pierre   Artistic Director
Luis Brasil   Wind Arrangements
Isabel de Sena   translation
David Nasser   Composer
Gregg Schaufeld   Editorial Coordinator
Gad Guterman   translation
Lorraine Leu   translation
Ricardo Moreira   Artistic Director
John Ryle   translation

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