NEW LUCIANA SOUZA ALBUM, THE BOOK OF LONGING, SET FOR RELEASE AUGUST 24TH ON SUNNYSIDE RECORDS
Brazilian Jazz Vocalist’s First New CD In Three Years Explores The Concept Of ‘Words With Strings’ And Features the Poetry of Leonard Cohen, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Emily Dickinson and More
Los Angeles, California. Stunning, provocative, impassioned, esoteric, beautiful and soulful – just a few of the many adjectives that can be used to describe Luciana Souza’s remarkable new album, The Book Of Longing, set for release via Sunnyside Records on August 24th, 2018. Produced by veteran music executive Larry Klein and recorded at Village Recording Studios in Los Angeles, The Book Of Longing is a tour-de-force for the Grammy-nominated vocalist whose career continues to cross musical boundaries with unabashed curiosity and unbridled sheer delight. The release of The Book Of Longing will be accompanied by select tour dates across the globe.
To put it simply, The Book Of Longing is a song cycle – a passionate melding of poetry by the likes of Leonard Cohen, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti and Luciana herself – set to beautiful string accompaniment – for which all of the music was written and arranged by Souza. But this album is anything but simple – and its treasure trove of tracks comb the depths of human emotion from start to finish.
When describing the creative process behind the making of The Book Of Longing, Luciana was very concise as to how she approached the recording. “It became clear to me that I wanted this recording to be about words and how they make me feel. How a set of ideas can take me places, reveal things I didn’t know or even knew that I needed to know. As I started setting these poems I wanted the words to be heard, but not necessarily defined. To me, the string instruments offer the best canvas for these songs. Like the voice, the sound of plucked strings decay and brings on silence and more possibility for listening. Also, the idea of counterpoint between the voice and strings was essential to me. The music would have to be simple and unadorned. Thus began the process of editing and shedding layers of more complex harmony and melody in favor of the most basic and expressive of landscapes – it’s about the words, I reminded myself – simple triads moving directly, tonal melodies, no fuss or unnecessary activity or ornaments.”
Accompanying Luciana on the recording are Scott Colley on bass and Chico Pinheiro on guitar, and the album was recorded as a live project with percussion overdub. Added Souza, “Making music with Chico and Scott is a thing of wonder. They have bountiful hearts, incredibly able hands, and abundant musical intelligence. Larry’s generous and curious guidance fostered our creativity and kept things transparent and honest. To all of them, I am eternally grateful.”
A complete list of tracks on “The Book Of Longing” is as follows:
These Things (Luciana Souza)
Daybreak (Luciana Souza)
Alms (Edna St. Vincent Millay & Luciana Souza)
Night Song (Leonard Cohen & Luciana Souza)
Paris (Leonard Cohen & Luciana Souza)
The Book (Leonard Cohen & Luciana Souza)
Tonight (Luciana Souza)
We Grow Accustomed to the Dark (Emily Dickinson & Luciana Souza)
A Life (Leonard Cohen & Luciana Souza)
Remember (Christina Rossetti & Luciana Souza)
A written commentary by Luciana on the making of the album is attached. You can also listen to Luciana talk about the new record here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVQXuqgSzoA
ABOUT LUCIANA SOUZA
Grammy winner Luciana Souza is one of Jazz’s leading singers and interpreters. Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Ms. Souza grew up in a family of Bossa Nova innovators – her father, a singer and songwriter, her mother, a poet and lyricist. Luciana’s work as a performer transcends traditional boundaries around musical styles, offering solid roots in jazz, sophisticated lineage in world music, and an enlightened approach to new music.
As a leader, Luciana Souza has been releasing acclaimed recordings since 2002 – including her six Grammy-nominated records Brazilian Duos, North and South, Duos II, Tide, Duos III, and The Book of Chet. Her debut recording for Universal, The New Bossa Nova, was produced by her husband, Larry Klein, and was met with widespread critical acclaim. Luciana’s recordings also include two works based on poetry – The Poems of Elizabeth Bishop And Other Songs, and Neruda. Of her 2015 release, Speaking in Tongues, The New York Times said: “Luciana Souza has used her voice as an instrument of empathy and intimacy, cultural linkage and poetic disquisition… singing wordlessly but with full expressive intent.”(More)
Ms. Souza has performed and recorded with luminaries including Herbie Hancock (on his Grammy winning record, River – The Joni Letters), Paul Simon, James Taylor, Bobby McFerrin, Maria Schneider, Danilo Perez, and many others. Her longstanding duo work with Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo has earned her accolades across the globe, and her complete discography contains more than sixty records as a side singer. Luciana Souza’s singing has been called “transcendental, “perfect, ” and of “unparalleled beauty. ” Entertainment Weekly writes, “Her voice traces a landscape of emotion that knows no boundaries.” Of her work with the chamber music ensemble, A Far Cry, the Boston Globe said: “Her performance was more than beautiful. It was consolatory, and true to the work’s air of ultimate things.”
Luciana Souza has been a prominent soloist in two important works by composer Osvaldo Golijov – La Pasion According to St. Mark, and Oceana. She has performed with the Bach Akademie Stuttgart, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic. Other orchestral appearances include performances with the New York Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the American Composers Orchestra. Her work in chamber music includes a fruitful collaboration with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, composers Derek Bermel, Patrick Zimmerli, and the five composers of The Blue Hour – Rachel Grimes, Angelica Negrón, Shara Nova, Caroline Shaw, and Sarah Kirkland Snyder – a setting of a poem by Carolyn Forché.
Ms. Souza began her recording career at age three with a radio commercial, and recorded more than 200 jingles and soundtracks, becoming a first-call studio veteran at age sixteen. She spent four years on faculty at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she received a Bachelor’s in Jazz Composition. Ms. Souza earned a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from New England Conservatory of Music and taught for four years at Manhattan School of Music, in New York City. Ms. Souza continues to teach Master Classes all over the world.
From 2005 to 2010, Luciana was the Jazz Artist in Residence with the prestigious San Francisco Performances. In 2005 and 2013 Luciana was awarded Best Female Jazz Singer by the Jazz Journalists Association.
Billboard magazine has said of Luciana: “she continues her captivating journey as a uniquely talented vocalist who organically crosses genre borders. Her music soulfully reflects, wistfully regrets, romantically woos, joyfully celebrates…”