Artists Worth Checking Out: Luciana Souza Brings Out Several Calm Tones On Many Popular Hit Songs

Another proud MPB artist hailing from Sao Paolo, Luciana Souza was born on June 14, 1966 into an all-musical oriented family.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree majoring in Jazz Composition from the Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1988.  In 1992, she earned a Master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music.  Luciana has lent her talents back at her alma mater of Berklee College of Music and also at The Manhattan School of Music in New York City.

Luciana began her career at a very young age, recording commercials at age three.  In her formative years, she was a classical music artist mainly performing in Europe.  She has been nominated seven times for a Jazz Grammy Award, winning once in 2008 as Album for the Year for Herbie Hancock’s album, River:  The Joni Letters (tribute album to Joni Mitchell).

Fittingly, on her 2007 Verve Records release under the Universal Jazz France label of which is profiled this week, one of Joni Mitchell’s big hits leads off this album in “Down To You.”  She lends a very calm voice and has a very even keel demeanor throughout most of the songs, especially on Sting’s “When We Dance” on Track 4, “You and The Girl” on Track 8, and smooth jazz/pop rock crossover artists Michael McDonald and one of his songs that mostly flew under the radar back in the day, “I Can Let Go Now.”

Another cool bonus with the CD is the multi-page foldable liner notes, complete with the lyrics to each of the songs (just in case you might have forgotten).  She also took some time to thank the people that made the album including James Taylor, “for the beauty of his music, and his generosity.”

He teams up with Luciana on a memorable version of “Never Die Young” on Track 2, just fyi.

And with the extended winter still holding its’ grip in 2/3 of the United States, Antonio Carlos Jobim’s classic song gets a bossa twist at the end.

Speaking of that classic song, I plan to profile an up-and-coming artist who is making a name for herself in a state better known for its’ annual late autumn college football “Civil War” between the always not-so-fashion conscious Oregon Ducks of Eugene and the put-your-nose-to-the-grindstone Oregon State Beavers of Corvallis.

Please continue to stay healthy, keep cool, and have some fun exploring my past blogs and check out similar blogs here on WordPress that you might find interesting.

Hope to see you all again next week for yet another exciting CD review profiling more really cool Brazilian jazz albums, both past and present.


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