Luciana Souza: Tide




Luciana Souza (vocals)


Tide (Verve 12688)

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Luciana Souza (vocals),

Larry Goldings (organ), Larry Koonse (guitar), Larry Klein (bass), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums)


Composed by Luciana Souza & Larry Klein; words adapted from a poem by e.e. cummings


Recorded: Los Angeles, 2009


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Since her marriage to bassist/producer Larry Klein, Luciana Souza has shifted her musical focus from jazz singer to singer/songwriter. While she has composed superb song cycles on the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop and Pablo Neruda, those songs always seemed linked to jazz, samba or both. On her CD, Tide, some of her original songs are not in the jazz realm. However, Souza has not actually abandoned any styles and the CD shows that she has melded some styles together and maintained some of them in their original form. There are three songs in Portuguese, fueled by a taut rhythm section headed by Romero Lubambo, two pop-ish songs with Rebecca Pidgeon on backing vocals, and two original songs with lyrics adapted from poems by e.e. cummings. The second of the cummings songs, “Tide”, is a brilliant combination of Souza’s singer/songwriter, jazz and poetry modes. The poem is a free adaptation to be sure, with none of cummings’ lines kept intact, yet the poem’s theme of romantic jealousy and reconciliation remains. Souza and Klein compare the ebb and flow of relationships to the ocean’s tide, and the band creates a shifting, constantly changing mood behind the swaying melody line. Vinnie Colaiuta is especially creative throughout with tom-tom rolls and cymbals portraying the ocean water as it hits the rocks. Souza’s delivery is intense as always, and while her improvised interludes with Larry Koonse are obviously based on jazz scat singing, Souza uses sustained tones and open vowel sounds to make them into something very different.

Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe

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