In the late 1960s, many south american nations were under brutal dictatorship, Brazil included. Say the wrong thing--disappear.
But in glorious 1960s style, there was a musical underbelly that included Gal Costa, Os Mutantes, Traffic Sound, Blops, and the master of them all, Mr. Cantano Veloso. These people knew about the Beatles and Dylan, the thriving couter-culture in the states, and took the spirit of the times to heart, at great risk to themselves.
Forty years on, we have the music, and no better place to start than Veloso's self titled album from 1968. This is latin music, but sure is not your father's bossa. Veloso, like his co-conspiritors, used folk and rock dynamics and beautiful orchestrations, tinged with the attitude of psychadelia if not the sound. On top they put their politcal lyrics.
All this creates a dynamic coctail, especially when you consider the position these couragous artists were in. You hear this edge in the music. Yet this work is increadibley melodic, and at times sublime if not docile.
Veloso went to jail for his art in 1969. Fortunately, he got out, and has been making beautiful music ever since. In the 1990s, he made much more advanced and esoteric material, much of which featured New York session musicians and jazz giants. He is now revered, devervedly, as an international hero.
You gotta love happy endings.
Get it all, but if inclined, begin here.
Hats off, Mr. Veloso.