MORENO VELOSO + 2
South American music remains so captivating and rich decade after decade–particularly in Cuba and Brazil–mainly because traditions are deeply ingrained and respected, even when musicians have revolution in mind. When Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Tom Ze, and Gal Costa launched the musical wing of the pomo tropicalia movement in late-60s Brazil, they retained a fierce pride in native forms like samba and bossa nova, bending them to meet their artistic visions without decimating them. These days forward-looking Brazilians like Otto, Lucas Santtana, and the group Nacao Zumbi mix traditional forms and modern textures with results that both soothe and jar, and on his recent debut album, Music Typewriter (Hannibal), Caetano Veloso’s 28-year-old son, Moreno–who got a late start in music because he was busy earning a PhD in physics–follows in his father’s philosophical footsteps. Fronting an exceptionally flexible, imaginative trio (with bassist Alexandre Kassin and percussionist Domenico Lancelloti), he offers a convincing demonstration of how modern electronic textures and beats can vibrantly combine with his country’s sexy rhythms. In a lovely, highly feminine lilt that recalls his father’s soulful inflection, he navigates gently sashaying bossa novas and sambas like a pro. He’s just as deft with the new as the old: spare, floor-thumping drum-and-bass programming heightens the tension in “Enquanto isso,” falling between guitar riffs like missing puzzle pieces, and the skitteringly abstract theremin doodles and synthetic sounds that waft through “Das partes” give the song a sort of human quality, each flutter of sound like a sudden shiver. Whether the percolating grooves are electronically enhanced or gorgeously unadorned, Veloso succeeds at making them all sound of a piece; he also produced half of his father’s superb upcoming album, Noites do norte, and it proves the kid’s no fluke. This gig marks his Chicago debut. Monday, March 26, 8 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport; 773-525-2508.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Daniela Dacorso.