'Duos II' continues Luciana's exploration of the Brazilian songbook that began on 'Brazilian Duos', the Grammy-nominated 2002 release which appeared on numerous Top Ten critics' list for that year. Guitarists Romero Lubambo and Marco Pereira rejoin Luciana for a deeper exploration of the guitar and voice interplay in great Brazilian music. Sunny Side. 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 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