Chico Buarque and Caetano Veloso are the two most brilliant post-Bossa Nova songwriters in Brazil, and composers of popular song on the level of anyone in any country. Their catalogs are amazingly diverse, and are full of dozens of utterly classic records. Veloso was known as a primary creative force behind the Tropicalista movement, and he began his career deftly combining his idol Joao Gilberto’s romanticism with North American and British pop and rock. Meanwhile, Buarque’s songs owed more to Brazilian pop forms and poetry. In 1971, Buarque recorded his masterpiece, the monumental “Construção,” and embraced the sound of traditional acoustic samba in the service of truly unique and beautifully constructed songs. Over several early albums, Veloso had travelled from extravagant Brazilian psychedelia to the English-language Beatles-inspired “Transa,” which he’d recorded while in exile in London with Gilberto Gil.
This energetic live album was recorded once both had returned to Brazil from abroad. The sound is a laid back and messy early 70s affair, with the percussion way up in the mix. Smell of grass is in the air, almost as soon as you pull the vinyl from the sleeve.
It’s not the best record by either Chico or Caetano. But it’s passionate, brimming with energy and is absolutely essential. The highlight of the record begins side 2, and perfectly captures the art of both of these masters. Caetano sings his beautiful, beach-like “Você Não Entende De Nada” with his lovely voice. The percussion begins, punctuated by Chico’s backing vocals–which then become incessant shouts. These shouts transition to Chico’s hypnotic “Cotidiano.” The mix of these two compositions is thrilling.
Another special mention to Chico’s tune, “Partido Alto,” which gets a nasty and biting performance from Caetano. The same goes for “Morena Dos Olhos D’Água” and “Rita”–both Buarque compositions delivered, this time, with grace and beauty by Caetano.