On Tide, Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza displays all the attributes that brought her the Jazz Journalists Association's female jazz vocalist of 2005 award. Her voice is never less than captivating at either end of a notable vocal range and holds the attractive mix of worldly maturity that comes with age, and a seductive suavness. Beautifully crafted songs with melodies which lull, embrace, and envelop the listener reveal a singer/songwriter at the top of her game.
Souza shares songwriting credits on seven of the ten tunes, while husband and bassist Larry Klein lends his pen to six. Souza's clear-toned ...read more
Is Luciana Souza on the verge of reinventing bossa nova? A careful look at The New Bossa Nova (Verve, 2007), may well provide the answer to this question, as the Brazilian-born singer aims to present classic pop tunes with a bossa nova feeling. It's a kind of whispering, Luciana says; a whispering in a loud world.
AAJ: What is The New Bossa Nova? Is it imposing the bossa nova rhythm and feeling to major pop songs?
Luciana Souza: What we tried to do with this record, was to utilize the medium of bossa nova to enable ...read more
When pianist Herbie Hancock released The New Standard (Verve, 1996)--an album of radically reworked pop tunes by artists ranging from Peter Gabriel to Prince--it wasn't exactly revolutionary, but it was the first time a major jazz artist had devoted an entire album to contemporary popular song. Singer Luciana Souza may not be as significant an artist--yet--as Hancock, but The New Bossa Nova explores a similar concept. By adapting material, ranging from Joni Mitchell and James Taylor to Leonard Cohen and Randy Newman, to the Brazilian bossa nova form, Souza has created a deeply heartfelt disc that deserves to raise her ...read more
This followup to singer Luciana Souza's 2002 Grammy-nominated Brazilian Duos charts much the same territory: it's a lilting, luscious record of acoustic Brazilian song interpreted through guitar and voice duets--and, if anything, it's even better than its excellent predecessor. Guitarists Romero Lubambo and Marco Pereira return from the previous project, appearing on five and three cuts, respectively, out of the disc's twelve, with newcomers Swami Jr. and New York-based Guilherme Monteiro each logging two. It's no surprise that the brilliant Lubambo grabs the lion's share of tracks on Duos II. A virtuoso's virtuoso, Lubambo has been Souza's most ...read more
Luciana Souza's first recording of voice/guitar duets (Brazilian Duos, Suunyside 2002), was nominated for a Grammy. Her latest, Duos II, is similar in format and content; I checked my earlier review and a few glowing assessments still apply--words like wit," intelligence," swing," and poignancy." The music is still intimate and immediate (it's live), the liners again unusually informative, and the guitarists equally superb (Lubambo and Pereira return, while Swami Jr. and Guilherme Monteiro are new). Guitars include classical, seven-string, and a dreamy Gibson electric on the last track.
Duos II continues Souza's guided tour of Brazilian music, as ...read more
Luciana Souza, daughter of famous Brazilian musicians, has a wonderful voice: strong and flexible, rangey, full of soul and passion, and with perfect intonation and time. The fact that this all-Brazilian program garnered Souza a 2002 Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal gives you an idea of how good she is (and perhaps how lacking jazz is in such voices and sensibilities). Whatever the case, the nomination is well-deserved.
Souza duos here with three top Brazilian guitarists, offering a fascinating comparison of touch and style: the powerful Marco Pereira, whose 8-string provides extra depth, the legendary Walter Santos ...read more