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Caetano Veloso: Tieta do agreste

Having seen the film is not a prerequisite to appreciation of the Caetano Veloso’s romantic and spry score to the film Tieta do agreste (Blue Jackel 5017; 62:40). The film, Brazil’s entry for the Foreign Film Oscar this year, stars Sonia Braga as a rich woman coming home to Bahia after having been cast out as a girl. But the music tells a story on its own powers, threading through themes and rewarding the listener with quirky surprises all along the way, sometimes with a nod to the Fellini scores of Nina Rota. Veloso’s bittersweet melodies and undulant rhythms are filtered through various orchestrations (arranged and orchestrated by Jaques Morelenbaum), sometimes with the vocal gleam of his old cohort Gal Costa and the propulsive charms of the female percussion group Dida Banda Feminina. It’s one of those rich, varied musical feasts you might expect from Veloso, one of the pioneers of the eclectic Tropicalismo insurgency of the ’60s, now all grown up and going places.

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