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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

CAETANO VELOSO

By MICHAEL COWAN
Published April 7, 2006

Live In Bahia
Nonesuch

Tropicalia pioneer Caetano Veloso’s latest U.S. release shows that at 60, with a career that’s been going strong for more than 35 years, he is still every bit as relevant as when he first took Brazil by storm in the mid-’60s.& The two-disc Live In Bahia includes 32 tracks, featuring songs from Noites do Norte (his most recent studio album), which deals primarily with the legacy of Brazilian slavery. Many classics from the ’60s-’80s also find a home on Bahia. Liner notes include a few extras that make the disc especially appealing to non-Portuguese speakers: English translations and footnotes explain key cultural and historical references. The band is tight and the styles varied: everything from gritty versions of “Haiti,” “Lingua” and “Tropicalia” to sweeter-than-honey versions of “Menino do Rio,” “Dom de Iludir” and “Nosso Estranho Amor.” With this collection, and recent film appearances in Talk To Her and Frida, Veloso seems at last to be gaining the wider audience he deserves.