Quincy Jones and Caetano Veloso Explore History in ‘Tropicalia’ Clip
Legendary producer remembers visiting Brazil at 23 and watching the greats play
One of the most colorful and musically revolutionary movements of the ’60s took place on the same soil where the World Cup is currently going down. Well, not on the pitch, exactly, but in the nation of Brazil. Tropicália, or Tropicalismo, blended traditional strains of folk music with psychedelic pop, avant-garde art, and, often, political criticism. The names of those who blazed the trail are now commonplace for even passing fans of Brazilian music — Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Tom Zé, Os Mutantes, Gal Costa — but their initial arrival, before albums like Jorge Ben’s África Brasil became vintage vinyl essentials, was nothing short of a revelation. Marcelo Machado’s Tropicália documentary lovingly captures that time and its lasting impact. Though made in 2012, the film is finally in theaters and available on DVD and Blu-Ray. And above, you can see not only footage of Veloso as a young man, but a current-day Quincy Jones expounding upon the excellence of this sound and culture. “Music is strong,” he says. “To me, it’s the voice of God.” In a time when music streams from every phone, it’s all too easy to forget what a truly persuasive force it can be.