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July/August 2005

Luciana Souza
Duos II
Sunnyside

Do beautiful, aesthetically tailored frames enhance great works of art? They do when the musical canvases in question are another dozen masterpieces from Brazil's cognac-voiced Luciana Souza. Each of the tracks on this fraternal twin to 2002's Grammy-nominated Brazilian Duos is stunningly set off by solo accompaniment from one of four of the Latin jazz world's most exemplary guitarists-Romero Lubambo and Guilherme Monteiro during the New York recording dates; Marco Pereira and Swami Jr. throughout the balance of the sessions, conducted in Souza's native Sao Paulo. As previously, she explores a stellar spectrum of Brazilian composers and lyricists, interweaving lesser-known (at least, to North American audiences) geniuses like Francis Hime and Nelson Cavaquinho with such household names as Jobim, Ivan Lins, Vinicius de Moraes and Souza's celebrated musician parents, Walter Santos and Tereza Souza. (Oddly, though, again nothing from Milton Nascimento.) Through it all, Souza's vivid palette, extending from the sunshiny yellow of "Sai Dessa," sparkling aqua of "Chorinho pra Ele" and vibrant orange of "Muita Bobeira" to the majestic purple of "No Carnaval/Vento" (and closing with the kaleidoscopic grandeur of her folks' "Voce") shines forth, confirming this as another priceless addition to the grand Souza gallery.

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Bob Wolfenson

Luciana Souza

Originally published in July/August 2005
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