Saturday, February 27, 2010

Luciana Souza - The New Bossa Nova

I have been listening to Luciana Souza all week and enjoying her music a lot.  I heard a song sung by Luciana on the radio one morning and as I usually do when I hear good music as I wake up - ran over to my desk and wrote her name down so I would remember later to find out more.  What grabbed me was that she was singing Bossa Nova music but it wasn't Bossa Nova music - she was singing songs by the likes of Joni Mitchel and James Taylor and Sting - but set to a Bossa Nova beat!  Superb!

As soon as I had a few minutes I went onto iTunes to hear more from Luciana and I was so smitten by her music I had to purchase one of her albums, but it was hard to choose from among the 12 she has recorded.  I settled on her 2007 Album titled "The New Bossa Nova", which is representative of her interpretive Bossa Nova renditions of some classics near to my heart.  I am listening to these songs as I write this blog.  If you want to see the names of all the songs on the album click the picture to the upper left - which is from the digital CD liner.

She has been nominated four times for a Grammy Award as best jazz vocalist in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2010.  The most recent nomination is for her 2009 released 12th album titled Tide.  It has a nice mix of more classic Bossa Nova tunes and one Neruda poem - Love Poem 65.  Listening to the iTune samples, I would sure like to get it.  Not sure how long I will be able to resist the "buy" button.  LOL

If you have not been properly introduced to Bossa Nova music you might want to check out my previous blog on the topic - Go here to read my previous blog on Bossa Nova music.

Luciana has come by her style honestly - she grew up in São Paulo, Brazil - the home of Bossa Nova.  Also as daughter of poet Tereza Souza and singer-composer-guitarist Walter Santos she comes from a family of Bossa Nova composers.  It is however, her own innovation to set pop songs to a Bossa Nova Jazz beat.  Listen to this You Tube as she talks about the Bossa Nova style of music and her contributions to this genre.

If you look at her discography (from the wiki here)  you will see there is an amalgam of Bossa Nova, Pop, jazz and classical influences.  She also blends songs with "regular" lyrics with poetry set to music.

She has 2 Cd's which feature poetry set to music: The Poems of Elizabeth Bishop and Other Songs, recorded in 2000 and Neruda recorded in 2004.  The focus on Poetry is evident in her rendition of the poem Sonnet 49 by Pablo Neruda.  I am still knee deep in an affair with the exquisite poetry of Pablo Neruda and this one is no less than the hundreds of others I need to get intimate with.  Before listening to the following You Tube you might want to check out
My previous blog discussing Pablo Neruda's poetry.

Sonnet 49 -- XLIX From: 'Cien sonetos de amor' ~ Pablo Neruda

It's today: all of yesterday dropped away
among the fingers of the light and the sleeping eyes.
Tomorrow will come on its green footsteps;
no one can stop the river of the dawn.

No one can stop the river of your hands,
your eyes and their sleepiness, my dearest.
You are the trembling of time, which passes
between the vertical light and the darkening sky.

The sky folds its wings over you,
lifting you, carrying you to my arms
with its punctual, mysterious courtesy.
That is why I sing to the day and to the moon,
to the sea, to time, to all the planets,
to your daily voice, to your nocturnal skin.

It's today: all of yesterday dropped away
among the fingers of the light and the sleeping eyes.
Tomorrow will come on its green footsteps;
no one can stop the river of the dawn.

It's today, it's today...


  1. hi there. thanks for your interesting blog.
    re the quoted neruda poem sonnet 49 - someone translated that into english - i don't know who, it's not in any of my neruda collections.
    the translator deserves to be credited, as well as pablo and luciana.

  2. Thanks Rick! Your comment about the identity of the translator of the original Spanish version of this wonderful poem has me wondering - I can't find any source and will send off a note to Luciana - maybe I will get an answer, I wonder if she had a hand in the translation? She did include 2 of her poems on one of her albums.

    It is a nice collaboration for sure!


Related Posts with Thumbnails