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Os Mutantes

Mutantes Ao Vivo: Barbican Theatre, London 2006

Despite years of speculation about an Os Mutantes reunion concert, it didn't happen until almost 30 years after the legendary Brazilian psych-rockers' final lineup broke up in 1978. In fall 2006, three of Mutantes' original members — brothers Arnaldo and Sérgio Dias Baptista, and drummer Dinho Leme — reunited at London's Barbican Theatre to mark the 40th anniversary of the Tropicalia movement that changed the face of Brazilian music, theater and cinema. Missing were original bassist Liminha, now a sought-after music producer, and temperamental vocalist Rita Lee, who declined the invitation to continue assembling a DVD anthology of her long career. (Lee became one of Brazil's major rock stars after her 1972 departure.) The remaining trio recruited singer-­songwriter Zelia Duncan for vocals and assembled a band from Baptista's current live ensemble. On Mutantes Ao Vivo, the band breezes brightly through their early-'70s catalogue, mixing hits like "Baby," "Panis et Circenses" and "Balada do Louco" with more obscure, proggier tunes like "Ave Lucifer" and "A Hora e a Vez do Cabelo Crescer." Dias's extended guitar solo halfway through "I Feel a Little Spaced Out" suddenly turns into George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" for one of the disc's greatest moments. Also worth a spin is "Bat Macumba," where Devendra Banhart and Noah Georgeson join the band to close out the show.

 
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