Brazilian legend Caetano Veloso has made only one new studio album since 1997’s superb Livro, the powerful Noites do norte (Nonesuch). But he’s released three live albums in the past five years, including the new double concert album Noites do norte ao vivo (also on Nonesuch). Here, Veloso reprises much of his last studio disc and, using songs by fellow countrymen Gilberto Gil, Jorge Ben, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Marcos Valle, examines the role of slavery and African traditions in Brazilian culture. He also recontextualizes some of his own contributions: “Sugar Cane Fields Forever,” from the experimental 1972 album Araca Azul, anticipated the dice-and-splice of hip-hop by nearly a decade; it’s updated smartly into a battle between samba and electronic noise. In 1999 he made his Chicago debut at Ravinia in a performance that touched on most of the styles he’s dipped into in his four-decade career. That concert was virtually a history of modern Brazilian music, featuring dance tunes driven by huge African rhythms, experiments in 12-tone serialism, and hushed bossa novas that hinted at the greatness of Joao Gilberto–and it managed to delight both the scantily clad women who stormed the stage to kiss their idol and the chin scratchers who grinned in their seats. Thursday, November 14, 8 PM, Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State; 312-443-1130 or 312-902-1500.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Marcos Hermes.