Dusted Reviews

Caetano Veloso - Omaggio a Federico e Giulietta

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Caetano Veloso

Album: Omaggio a Federico e Giulietta

Label: Nonesuch

Review date: Jul. 25, 2002

While the African components of Brazilian music have ascended in recent years, it’s important to remember that so much of the soul of Musica Popular Brasiliera is inherently European: the deep, yearning sadness that Brazilians and Portuguese call saudade, the polyglot sophistication that drinks freely from many streams of cultures.

The generation of musicians who created MPB - Musica Popular Brasiliera - and its rock-influenced, Avant-garde relative Tropicalia had a political and aesthetic agenda that reached for intellectual, social, political, and physical freedom. Their revolutionary approach centered on a self-described concept of cultural cannibalism, a flowering of the arts that celebrated Brazilian roots and traditions while eating of, and digesting, outside influences. The goal was a free and expansive form of self-expression that was cosmopolitan yet uniquely and absolutely Brazilian. Thus the samba and its African roots remained sacred, while the suave, jazzy developments of Bossa Nova, the distortion and squealing feedback of rock, the intellectual rigors of the theatre of the absurd and the language of surrealism were all seen as valid parts of a new art that would change the world.

Certainly, Caetano Veloso and his generation in the 60s and 70s looked in part to European cinema for many of the images and attitudes that helped define the brave new world they envisioned - and created. The majestic concert from 1997 recorded here is a tribute to the great film director Fellini and his wife Giulietta Masina. The result is a document that, while showing Caetano’s deep connection to—and love for—Fellini’s creative vision, manages to express the singer/composer’s own profoundly beautiful and almost unbearably sad world view. Longtime collaborator/arranger Jaques Morelenbaum underscores the mood, with his own melancholy cello woven into the flow of Bossa-Nova , Nino Rota themes, and café music that provide the setting for Caetano’s impeccable selection of songs; originals by Veloso himself, classics by Jobim, Cole Porter, and others.

In the liner notes, Caetano Veloso describes a strange malady that blocked his vocal range just before the concert in San Marino. Judging by the recorded evidence, the effect on his voice was eerily appropriate, returning his voice to the pitch and range of his younger self. It’s as if fate may have returned him temporarily to the young man lost in the magic of Fellini’s rich, visionary world of transcendental cinema.

By Kevin Macneil Brown

Other Reviews of Caetano Veloso

Read More

View all articles by Kevin Macneil Brown

Find out more about Nonesuch

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.