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The Book of Chet

4.1 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 28, 2012
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$13.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 11 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

The Book of Chet is Luciana Souza s inspired interpretation of the music of trumpet player and singer Chet Baker. An iconoclastic musical figure, Chet had a unique and lyrical approach to singing informed by his superb musicianship, his singing was heartfelt, yet detached. It is a well known fact that musicians like João Gilberto were listening a lot to Chet Baker and the sounds coming out of the West Coast of the US. That kind of quiet, introspective singing was started by Chet while Miles playing, tone and sensibility ended up influencing many musicians in Brazil.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 28, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sunnyside Records
  • ASIN: B008BUOBME
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,204 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Numerous "tribute" albums to Chet Baker have been done; but, in my opinion, none have captured the essence of his style until this one by Luciana Souza. Not only is her delivery slow and quiet, but she TELLS the listener in song a love story rather than appearing to show us her singing style and expertise. Since Chet Baker was first a musician and secondly a singer, his approach, to me, was to use the lyric to give a glimpse into his soul, instead of being concerned with the rules a "good" singer should follow. I commend Luciana Souza for doing justice to the memory of a great jazz artist.
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Souza captured the essence of Baker's unique delivery with these songs. In fact they are as good as anything Baker did himself. The mood, the introspection, the inflections are all here. Yet, she did not set out to copy him. She must have given each of these standards a lot of thought. I can't think of anything she could do to improve on this set.
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Format: Audio CD
I am a big fan of Souza's and was looking forward to hearing this disk. Although it is well recorded and sung, I don't care for it too much. The predominance of slow ballads, along with the consistent tone (spare acoustic guitar backing, ultra-close mic-ing of her voice, minimal drums) drags me down. Some of the songs cross over the edge of preciousness. The disc could serve as mood music for an appropriate occasion... one in which you were not depending on remaining awake.

Chet Baker had a better chance of carrying off these songs, because his cracked voice could carry an emotional weight that his singing shortcomings benefited rather than subtracted from. He *needed* the close mic-ing, because he couldn't hit the notes with a full voice. With Souza's full voice, the technique sounds affected. Also, Chet would often intersperse his vocal attempts among instrumental songs of different speeds and tones. Here, there's no trumpet or rhythm section to solo and relieve the vocals.

So, I'm not saying that the disk is bad; individual songs have some very good singing and playing. However, as a whole product, I found the disc more annoying than rewarding to listen to. I realize that other reviewers have liked the disc. My review is intended to help provide a complete picture of listeners' response to it.
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By Ben on September 21, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Smooth, mellow, and refreshing. An excellent album, here's to hoping that more will be forthcoming. Luciana is one of those rare artists whom I believe can fill shoes once thought to be left permanently vacant. She is at once classic and fresh. A+
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Format: Audio CD
I love it! One reviewer felt overwhelmed by the "ballad-ness" of this album. Whoa, this style genre is almost gone in this noisy era. Thank you Luciana...shades of Jim Hall and more! Please never go away!
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This CD doesn't make you think of Chet Baker. It makes you think about the music. Wonderful songs that never needed bells, whistles, or other adornments to make them moving and memorable. Precisely why they worked for Baker. They were not so produced as recorded. The true test of musical art. If anything stands out in this collection, it might be guitarist Larry Koonse, who plays just the perfect unsuspected notes to refresh the unsuspected beauty of forgotten lyrics. As for Souza, what is a singer if not the delivery system for a remarkable song?
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Format: Audio CD
Just something no one has mentioned about this VERY Chet album. She not only sings like Chet, with no vibrato, seemingly straining for the high notes, lots of air; but she also, on several of the cuts, skats the missing trumpet part that Chet might have added, while singing notes sometimes that a trumpet can't play.
Very minimalistic, very slow, very quiet; won't be everyone's cup of tea. Think Astrud Gilberto, acoustic.
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If you love the music of Chet Baker and particularly the feel of his music, you will appreciate and enjoy the respect and musicianship that has gone into every cut on this album Luciana Souza has the perfect voice for these songs. The arrangements and clarity of recording are impeccable as they are in all her work. There is nothing uptempo on this album ,but that is really the beauty of listening to this album. just curl up and let this haunting lovely music take you away.
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