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Luciana Souza

The New Bossa Nova

The New Bossa Nova
(2007)

The New Bossa Nova finds Souza applying her interpretative skills to material drawn from a diverse array of sources, including Joni Mitchell ("Down To You"), Leonard Cohen ("Here It Is"), Sting ("When We Dance"), Elliott Smith ("Satellite"), Steely Dan ("Were You Blind That Day"), Brian Wilson ("God Only Knows"), Randy Newman ("Living Without You"), Michael McDonald ("I Can Let Go Now") and legendary bossa nova master Antonio Carlos Jobim (the standard "Waters of March"), along with a pair of memorable new songs written for the project, "You and the Girl," written by Souza and producer Larry Klein, and "Love Is for Strangers," by Klein and Steely Dan's Walter Becker. The set also features a memorable guest appearance by James Taylor, who joins Souza for a soulful duet reading of the Taylor composition "Never Die Young." The New Bossa Nova marks an exciting new chapter for the Brazilian-born vocalist and three-time Grammy nominee, who's already widely acknowledged as one of jazz's most respected and accomplished vocalists. The 11-song album finds the artist crafting a fresh and highly personal variation on the beloved bossa nova style, matching Souza's exquisite, deeply-felt performances with spare, eloquent arrangements that place the emphasis squarely on the songs' timeless emotional truths.--album description

Duos II

Duos II
(2005)

Over the course of six albums filled with her beautiful voice and thoughtful interpretations, singer Luciana Souza has landed two Grammy nominations and grabbed the attention of knowledgeable jazz and Brazilian music fans. Here she follows up her breakthrough album Brazilian Duos with a second installment, this time again in intimate duo settings with different guitarists. Souza dwells in her voice's mid-range, seldom going particularly high or low, yet her inflections are as rich as a well-aged cabernet wine. While these nuances take a little time to pick up, Souza's technical facility is easily recognizable and impressive – her lightning fast scat on the new choro "Sambadalu (Para Luciana Souza)" is dazzling; her timing on the ballad "Modinha" is impeccable. Generally regarded a jazz singer because of her chops, Souza is really "beyond category" (to use an old Duke Ellington quote) for bringing Brazilian folk idioms into the jazz genre, and she doesn't do it any better than on Duos II. –-Tad Hendrickson
 

Neruda

Neruda
(2004)

Absolutely stunning, wonderful album IMO. I'm not always crazy about LS, but this one is a perfect balance between her voice, Edward Simon's incisive piano and the magical words by Neruda -- even in translation. Only comparison to Norah Jones I see is that there's an emphasis on quiet -- but NERUDA is at a whole different, better level I think. One of the great 'art song jazz' albums -- and I also like the incorporation of a few Mompou melodies -- just the right nostalgic, 'simplified' Chopin touch. So far in '04, my favorite album of the year in any genre. --an Amazon reviewer
 

Norte E Sul (North And South)

Norte E Sul (North And South)
(2003)

Luciana Souza's CD, "North and South," is the last installment of her three-part reflections on musical and poetic influences from Brazil, where she was born, and from New York, her adopted home. She is a gifted composer and arranger, as well as an extraordinary vocalist. Ms. Souza's songs are like nothing I've heard before - mesmerizing - haunting - intense. She sings these eight tracks in both English and Portuguese, in her distinctive, silky, somewhat smokey, low voice. Her previous CD, "Brazil Duos," was nominated at the 45th Grammy Awards for the Best Vocal Jazz Album. And the New York Times placed the CD on its Best Of Year-End List. Fans and new listeners, alike, are bound to welcome this new addition to Ms. Souza's repertoire with great enthusiasm. Souza takes Billie Holiday's "All of Me" and makes it her very own. Her somber, minimalist versions of "Never Let Me Go," and "When Your Lover Has Gone" are superb. She takes flight with her vocal improvisations in "Chega de Saudade," with Edward Simon on the piano. And Souza's own composition, "I Shall Wait," is a signature piece, and hauntingly poetic. The classic Samba, sung light, "Se E Tarde Me Perdoa" with bassist Scott Colley and drummer Clarence Penn, is simply wonderful. Actually Luciana Souza's voice soars throughout this CD, and she invites her listeners to fly with her. Great music! Highly recommended! --an Amazon reviewer


Brazilian Duos

Brazilian Duos
with Romero Lubambo, Marco Pereira
(2002)

The lovely Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza is the daughter of songwriters Walter Santos and Teresa Souza. She's best known to American jazz lovers through her thrilling work with pianist Danilo Perez and for her critically acclaimed recording The Poems Of Elizabeth Bishop and Other Songs. On this CD, Souza's fluid and floral vocals, which swing on every Portuguese-language phrase, are backed by three alternating Brazil-born guitarists--Romero Lubambo, her father, and Marco Pereira on eight-string guitar--performing compositions by Luis Gonzaga, Edú Lobo, Jacó do Banbolim, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Souza's parents. The combination of the plaintive and percussive guitar playing and Souza's sinewy voice is hard to beat. From the peppery "Baião Medley" and the bossa-nova-like "Doce de Coco" to the Afro syncopations of "Saudade da Bahia," Luciana Souza shows that when it comes to Brazilian music, less is more. --Eugene Holley, Jr.


The Poems of Elizabeth Bishop and Other Songs

The Poems Of Elizabeth Bishop and Other Songs
(2000)

Luciana Souza's beautiful voice [is] infused with lightness and unpretentious ease, and the great ability to navigate the difficult terrain of the fascinating but challenging music presented here. Each listening reveals something new. The virtuosity of the performers, and the care with which they treat the material. The compositions themselves (written and arranged by Ms. Souza). The compelling lyrics, mostly poems by Elizabeth Bishop, some by Ms. Souza. The cohesiveness and interplay and artfulness of the ensemble, who charge this music with an energy that can only happen when musicians move and breathe as one. A musician friend observed that Ms. Souza was brilliant not only as a writer and performer, but as the assembler of an ensemble talented and sympathetic enough to bring this music to life so beautifully. There is so much to hear here. You may be captivated first by the pianist, or the saxophonist, the great bassist and drummer, or the beauty of the singing--but gradually, something else will emerge that you love, that you didn't notice before--and you'll never hear it the same way again. --an Amazon reviewer
 

The Answer to Your Silence

The Answer to Your Silence
Luciana Souza's debut album
(1999)
 


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