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The Best Of Caetano Veloso,


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Performer Notes
  • Personnel includes: Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil (vocals, guitar); Moreno Veloso (vocals, guitar, percussion); Nana Vasconcelos (vocals, percussion); Jacques Morelenbaum (arranger, cello); Luiz Brasil (guitar, berimbau, drums); Arto Lindsay, Bill Frisell (guitar); Liminha (e-bow guitar, bass, keyboards, drum & percussion programming); Leo Gandelman (baritone saxophone); Peter Scherer (keyboards); Jorge Helder (bass); Carlinhos Brown (percussion).
  • Producers include: Arto Lindsay, Caetano Veloso, Jaques Morelenbaum, Liminha,
  • Gilberto Gil.
  • Recorded between 1989 & 2001. Includes liner notes by David Byrne.
  • Personnel: Caetano Veloso (vocals, whistling, guitar, acoustic guitar); Gilberto Gil (vocals, guitar); Moreno Veloso (vocals, electric guitar, cello, congas, surdo, tambourine, percussion); Belo Veloso, Nara Gil (vocals); Luis Brasil (guitar, berimbau, drums); Arto Lindsay, Bill Frisell (guitar); Torcuato Mariano (acoustic guitar); Dari Moraes (electric guitar); Liminha (E-bow, keyboards, drum programming, percussion programming); Marcelo Costa (berimbau, drums, talking drum, percussion); Ramiro Mussoto (berimbau, kalimba, drum programming); Alfredo Videl, Antonella Pareschi, Pascoal Perrotta, Carlos Eduardo Hack, Ricardo Amando, Joao Daltro, Walter Hack, Bernardo Bessler, Michel Bessler, Jose Alves, Giancarlos Spala Pareschi (violin); Marie Christine S. Bessler, Jesuina Noronha Passaroto, Ricardo Taboada, Maria Christine Springuel, Jairo Diniz (viola); Jorge Ranewsky, Flavia Rosa, Alceu Reis, Iura Ranevsky, Alceu de Almeida Reis, Marcio Eymard Malard, Jaques Morelenbaum (cello); Carlos Malta, Marcelo Bernardes, David Ganc, Andr‚a Earnest Dias (flute); Jose Carlos Ramos, Marcelo Martins (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Z‚ Canuto, Proveta, Hudson Nogueira (alto saxophone); Daniel Garcia, Vin¡cius Assump‡ao Dorin, Vitor Alcantara, Raul Mascarenhas (tenor saxophone); Sueli Faria, Ubaldo Versolato, Leo Gandelman (baritone saxophone); Fl vio Melo, Walmir Gil (trumpet, flugelhorn); Bindinho, Nahor Gomes, M rcio Montarroyos (flugelhorn); Ant“nio Augusto, Phillip Doyle, Ismael Junior Deoliveira (French horn); Vittor Santos, Ulisses DeAbreu, Serginho Trombone, Leonardo San Leandro, Valdir Ferreira, Francois de Lima (trombone); Drauzio Chagas (tuba); Peter Scherer (keyboards); Jota Moraes (vibraphone, xylophone); Jotinha (vibraphone); Zeca Assump‡ao (acoustic bass); Denner Campolina (double bass); Nico Assuncao (6-string bass); M rcio Victor (drums, congas, kettle drum, djembe, surdo); Tony Lewis , Carlos Bala (drums); Marcos Amma (congas); Du (kettle drum, surdo); L‚o Bit Bit, Boghan (agogo, djembe); Carlinhos Brown (pandeiro, shaker, surdo, sound effects); Nan  Nasconcelos (percussion); Pinduca (chimes).
  • Liner Note Author: David Byrne.
  • Photographer: Mario Neto.
  • Translators: Lorraine Leu; Gad Guterman; John Ryle; Isabel de Sena; Arto Lindsay.
  • Arranger: Jaques Morelenbaum.
  • 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 "Manhata" 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
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (2/19/04, p.67) - 4 stars out of 5 - "These fifteen tracks prove why the sixty-three-year-old Veloso is the most influential Brazilian artist of his generation."
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