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Neruda

3.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 6, 2004
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$13.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 14 left in stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 6, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sunny Side
  • ASIN: B0001MMGPE
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,533 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rick Cornell VINE VOICE on August 24, 2004
Format: Audio CD
To begin: I highly recommend this album. But if you haven't heard it, here's what I recommend you do: after you buy it, but before you put it into your c.d. player, look at the liner notes; read the English translations of the Pablo Neruda poems; then read them out loud; then imagine how you might put these to music, if it were up to you; then listen.

These poems are elegant, direct, sadly reflective of life in their breadth, tapping into an endless reservoir of longing and of love. They demand a similarly elegant, direct, quiet and clean treatment; and that's exactly what Luciana Souza gives them in her original compositions.

Luciana Souza has an incredibly pure alto voice that never strains or cracks, and sounds the same regardless of which register she sings in. I don't know what it is about Brazilian singers, and why they are so able to capture that kind of emotional sound more than their American counterparts (e.g., Caetano Veloso, Milton Nascimento, anyone named Gilberto); but she does it here. And the instrumentation of piano and percussion (which Ms. Souza plays, everything from marimba to conga to snare) is perfect. Not too much, but not little.

Actually, the piano parts by Edward Simon (inspired by Federico Mompou) sound almost classical; I detected a bit of Grieg in "Loneliness", Satie in "Poetry", and Brahms in "Memory". This album is not for jazz purists; but if you like beautiful music that grows on you with each listen, regardless of genre, then this album is for you.

Ms. Souza was voted the #1 "Rising Star" in the 2004 Down Beat poll. She merits that; but on this evidence, she won't be a "rising star" for very long. As I said, highly recommended. RC
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By A Customer on April 25, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Some people seem to have an agenda here when it comes to knocking Luciana. All I can say is, she gets to me on an emotional level, and she has highly developed musical skills. Some singers just open their mouths and its magic; They are endowed with a remarkable instrument and get over by virtue of having this great sound. With Luciana it is more than this. She seems to choose her material carefully, based on what moves her, not on what someone thinks will sell. She also clearly works hard at her craft. There is not enough of this in her field today. How many singers do you know that can play percussion and sing in 7/4 at the same time? Go see her at Joe's Pub if you doubt me. . .but get tickets soon, she sells the place out. You will not hear one note out of place and she will get you, too.
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Format: Audio CD
Absolutely stunning, wonderful album IMO. I'm not always crazy about LS, but this one is a perfect balance between her voice,
Edward Simon's incisive piano and the magical words by Neruda-- even in translation. Only comparison to Norah Jones I see is that
there's an emphasis on quiet-- but NERUDA is at a whole different,better level I think. One of the great 'art song jazz' albums-- and I also like the incorporation of a few Mompou
melodies-- just the right nostalgic, 'simplified' Chopin touch.
So far in '04, my favorite album of the year in any genre.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It does seem that some people have a negative agenda because Souza chose to work with the poetry of Neruda. I own about 25 or so books of Neruda's poetry, so I don't have to say anything about what I think of his work, but it seems the "purist English geeks" have an issue with this production... My best guess -- from reading Neruda's memoirs and other stories about him -- is that Pablo would love it... as I do.
And if you've never heard Neruda's work, Luciana Souza's interpretations are heavenly. Well work every penny!
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Format: Audio CD
I have to start out saying that the other reviews of this CD on the whole are unobjective. The good ones are blindly glowing and the bad ones are vitriol.

Here's a few facts. Souza is a fabulous singer. This is based on SOME of her previous cds and a mesmerizing live performance with Danilo Perez. In my experience Neruda, and most Spanish poetry, does not translate well into English. I received a book of his poetry and found it very bland. I checked with Spanish speakers and they confirmed translation problems. This is a music review however, not literature.

Now for the my review. I like it. The use of few instruments on each song and yet a variety of instruments throughout the cd make it enjoyable and interesting. Many of the other reviewers compared it to Holiday, Vaughn, Acuna and other great jazz/latin singers. I don't think this is a competition and if it was this cd would not be entered in that category. This is not a huge record. It is stripped down, almost stark. If I had to compare it to the performances of other singers I would go for Laura Nyro performing solo or Joni Mitchell.

I am glad to hear something like this because Souza is trying to make an artistic statment, not money. While it has it's failings, for me, it is ultimately more enjoyable than the predictable output of high dollar artists.

Listen to this for what it is, good music of no sepcific target genre. It won't take your breath away, but it will sneak up on you from time to time and make you think or sigh. Give an objective listen.
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