Audio Mixer: Helik Hadar.
Recording information: NossoEstúdio, Sao Paulo, Brazil (02/28/2012); Waystation, Los Angeles, CA (02/28/2012); NossoEstúdio, Sao Paulo, Brazil (03/05/2012/03/06/2012); Waystation, Los Angeles, CA (03/05/2012/03/06/2012).
Photographers: Kiko Farkas; Bob Wolfenson; Alex Calleros.
Though Grammy-winning Brazilian vocal great Luciana Souza's third Duos recording marks the (approximately) ten-year anniversary of her Grammy-nominated Brazilian Duos, the trilogy concludes marvelously with duets by the singer and the lineup that appears on Duos II (2005): Toninho Horta, Romero Lubambo, and Marco Pereira. Traveling the world and playing in the duet format over the previous decade has helped Souza hone her ability with intimate yet lively voice-guitar conversations rich with clarity and eloquence. Stripping away the need for busier accompaniment, she and her cohorts eagerly embrace the core of each story and its sonic moment. With the exception of a sparse, plaintive meditation on Jobim's renowned "Dindi," most of the songs run from two-four minutes, allowing for quick guitar-vocal exchanges that make their point without dallying or overstating. The opening track, the easy flowing and breezy "Tim Tim Por Tim Tim," has a simple guitar line that allows the listener to zero in on Souza's dusky tones and expansive range. The snappy "Doralise" finds her voice fluttering through her higher register and daring the accompanying guitar line to keep up. She balances percussive tunes like that with the gentler sensuality and slightly mournful touches of tracks like "As Rosas Nao Falam" and the opening segment of the medley of "Lamento Sertanejo" and (the rollicking) "Maca do Rosto." No matter the tempo, no matter the tone chosen by each guitarist, Souza's voice on these classics of her native land are mesmerizing. ~ Jonathan Widran