New Bossa Nova

The New Bossa Nova

5.0 1
by Luciana Souza
     
 

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Known for her interpretations of poetry and a classical vocal technique, Brazilian singer Luciana Souza makes her most overt bid for mainstream recognition with this collection of jazzy takes on the works of latter day pop stars. Starting with a supple rendition of Joni Mitchell's "Down to You" and continuing through songs by Sting, Steely Dan, Randy Newman, and James…  See more details below

Overview

Known for her interpretations of poetry and a classical vocal technique, Brazilian singer Luciana Souza makes her most overt bid for mainstream recognition with this collection of jazzy takes on the works of latter day pop stars. Starting with a supple rendition of Joni Mitchell's "Down to You" and continuing through songs by Sting, Steely Dan, Randy Newman, and James Taylor, among others, Souza never opts for the easy base-hit. Duetting with Taylor himself on "Never Die Young," she recasts the melody into something ineffably Brazilian (Souza sings in unaccented English) and unrecognizable. Even on the most popular bossa in the world (next to "The Girl from Ipanema"), "Waters of March," Souza uncovers something new in her phrasing, even if it's just the wonder of the lyrics in English ("a truckload of bricks / In the morning sun"). Backed by a simpatico band anchored by guitarist Romero Lubambo and featuring vibist Matt Moran, Souza's most commercial outing may be calculating, but so is everything she does. A singer this intelligent is a rare find indeed.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
For her sixth recording and first on a major label (Verve), Luciana Souza's concept of "new bossa nova" is melding Brazilian rhythms onto adult contemporary folk-pop MOR songs. She sings lyrics exclusively in English. The stamp of Joni Mitchell, aided and abetted by producer Larry Klein, makes this image unmistakable immediately from the first tune, Joni's "Down to You." Souza sounds exactly like Mitchell in her melancholic phrasing during "Were You Blind That Day" and "You and the Girl." She is more herself on the closer, the straight Brazilian classic by Jobim "Waters of March," the Sting-penned minimalistic romantic pleader "When We Dance," and the lone non-Latin silken-tinged "Satellite." High-level musicianship from the pristine, crystalline tones of pianist Edward Simon, restrained guitarist Romero Lubambo, and occasional saxophonist Chris Potter raises the quality a hundredfold. The tunes range from slow to midtempo; overall, this is a sultry program of romantic ballads and softly toned introspective tracks. Source material comes from the aforementioned authors and lesser-known compositions from Leonard Cohen, Steely Dan's Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, Becker with Klein, Randy Newman, Michael McDonald, and Brian Wilson. Perhaps the selection that will draw most attention is James Taylor's "Never Die Young," with Souza and Taylor singing separate lines and in unison during the latter part of the piece. After having tackled poems of Elizabeth Bishop and Pablo Neruda, along with the Brazilian music of her homeland, this recording marks a change for Souza. It is similar to Herbie Hancock's Gershwin's World in a belief that established music needs to be either modified or updated. Souza's voice is nearly perfect, thoughtful, sweet, and beautiful, and that alone should win her new fans. Whether previous devotees can be sold by this new direction is something only time will tell.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/21/2007
Label:
Verve
UPC:
0600753008737
catalogNumber:
000945602
Rank:
94268

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Luciana Souza   Primary Artist,Vocals
Romero Lubambo   Guitar,Cavaquinho
Antonio Sanchez   Percussion,Drums
Edward Simon   Piano,Pump Organ
Matt Moran   Vibes
James D. Taylor   Vocals

Technical Credits

Leonard Cohen   Composer
Donald Fagen   Composer
Joni Mitchell   Composer
Randy Newman   Composer
Brian Wilson   Composer
Walter Becker   Composer
Bernie Grundman   Mastering
Antonio Carlos Jobim   Composer
Larry Klein   Composer,Producer
Daniel Richard   Executive Producer
Elliott Smith   Composer
Helix Hadar   Engineer
Luciana Souza   Composer
Sharon Robinson   Composer

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The New Bossa Nova 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Art-historian More than 1 year ago
I love all her recordings, regardless of language. Some of the tracks on this one are less exciting than others, but the last one stays in my head for hours.