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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

LUCIANA SOUZA

By Marie Elsie St. Léger
Published February 17, 2006

Brazilian Duos
Sunnyside

Sao Paulo's Luciana Souza bravely tackles samba classics written by such composers as Antonio Carlos Jobim and her parents, Walter Santos and Tereza Souza, on the spare but lush Brazilian Duos. Souza deconstructs that musical legacy—enhanced over the years by Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto, Jobim, Milton Nascimento and so many others—creating a collection that is crisp and modern yet warm and inviting, leaving the myth behind. Brazilian Duos seduces the listener, in no small part because of the guitarists Souza chooses to accompany her. Marco Pereira adds a playfulness to "Saudade De Bahia," a tribute to the culturally rich Brazilian state. The mournful "Documente," written by Santos/Souza, is buoyed by Romero Lubambo's clean, precisely executed playing; that precision works even better when paired with Janet de Almeida/Haroldo Barbosa's bouncy satire "Pra Que Discutir com Madede." And Walter Santos wisely takes a backseat, letting Jobim's melody work its magic through his daughter's expressive voice on "As Praias Desertas." Luciana Souza's Brazilian Duos enters a crowded field of Brazilian imports, but this unexpected gem will certainly make room for itself.