Luciana Souza,
Brazilian Duos
(Sunnyside, 2002)

Coming out of relative obscurity, Brazilian singer Luciana Souza achieved widespread success with critics viewing Brazilian Duos as an exquisite jazz album. Part of the success may be Souza's realistic and natural recording technique.

Souza opted for an in-studio live recording capturing all performers simultaneously along with the occasionally pops and clicks that reverberate authenticity. Of course, it is more talent that mere technique responsible here. Foremost are her excellent vocals and lucid phrasing that draws the listener deep into each track. Also, her vocals must and effectively do convey the gentle swing to these melodies in the absence of a percussionist.

Also, the duo settings -- Souza performs acoustic guitarists Romero Lubambo, Marco Pereira and Walter Santos -- makes the songs intimate, small and personal moments. Especially notable is Pereira, whose 8-string abilities enrich the music with a wider range of tones.

There is also a subtle bossa nova influence arising from her songwriter parents, Walter Santos and Teresa Souza. (Her father appears on the album.) Beside hereditary tracks from her parents, Souza chooses excellent gems from Luis Gonzaga, Ed Lobo, Jaco do Banbolim and Antonio Carlos Jobim for these duo arrangements.

- Rambles
written by Tom Schulte
published 2 August 2003

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