New York, the lights of Broadway, the dreams of millions, and where for some opportunity came knocking, and Luciana Souza and Jay Geils not only opened the door, but they invited in a cast of thousands to share it with them.
Luciana Souza is a Brazilian born singer songwriter, from a family of famous Brazilian artists, who not only embraced New York, but has taken her place among innovative and exciting jazz singers. Ms. Souza has established such a perfect harmony with her current record label, Sunnyside Records, that they have given her creative license for her past 5 releases, and have been rewarded with 2 Grammy Nominations in 2002 and 2003.
Ms. Souza who lives in New York, is giving back to the City and future performers as a teacher at the Manhattan School of Music. I, along with Debra C. Argen, was able to capture Luciana live at Jazz Standard, in New York in June of 2005, where she performed with guitarist extraordinaire Romero Lubambo as a duo keeping with a theme of two of her hit releases Brazilian Duos (2002) and Brazilian Duos II (2005). It was a powerful performance by both musicians showcasing Luciana’s voice and command of a song along with Romero’s command of the guitar. When you have two prominent musicians you don’t always get outstanding music, but with Luciana and Romero you can see and hear the respect for each others talents. There is a harmony of sight and sound as their eyes and gestures connect while the music meshes between Romero’s guitar strings and Luciana’s vocal chords. If you are unable to catch Ms. Souza live, though she has many engagements across the US, Canada and Spain, you can still be treated to great music on any of her releases.
Ms. Souza has 7 releases to her credit, as well as performing on countless other recording covering the genres from jazz to classical. She has 5 releases with Sunnyside Records - Brazilian Duos II (2005), Neruda (2004), North and South (2003), Brazilian Duos (2002), and The Poems of Elizabeth Bishop and Other Songs (2000), in addition she recorded her debut release self titled Luciana Souza (1992) followed by An Answer to Your Silence (1998). Luciana is very diverse and uses influences from her vast musical heritage as well as poetry in her music. In Neruda she showcases Chile’s renowned poet Pablo Neruda; in the release The Poems of Elizabeth Bishop and Other Songs she uses the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop for her inspiration. If you like the Brazilian jazz sound then Brazilian Duos, Brazilian Duos II, and North and South are excellent releases, and are sung in her native tongue Portuguese, while Neruda and The Poems of Elizabeth Bishop and Other Songs are sung in English. Neruda is a classical release that follows in Ms. Souza’s feel for the elements of music, and is a duo with Ms. Souza voice and percussions, and pianist Edward Simon. The Poems of Elizabeth Bishop and Other Songs is classic jazz where she is accompanied by Chris Cheek tenor and soprano saxes, Bruce Barth piano, John Lockwood bass, and Marlon Browden drums and percussion.
Jay Geils - Jay Geils Plays Jazz!
Yes, for those of us with a memory and a love for fun music from the 70’s this is the Jay Geils from the famous house party band the J. Geils Band (1967-1982). But this time we have the jazz guitarist and New Yorker Jay Geils on his first solo release "Jay Geils Plays Jazz!". Jazz and blues were Jay’s first love, in fact he played slide guitar in blues bands prior to his success with the J. Geils Band where you could hear his blues influence on many of their hit tracks, and now he ventures out on his own with a few friends (Scott Hamilton, Crispin Cioe, Greg Piccolo, Rich Lataielle, Billy Novick, Gerry Beaudoin, Al Wilson, Jerry Miller, Frank Blandino, John Turner, Gordon Crottenthaler) to showcase his love for jazz and the blues with a little western swing included. I know it is hard for a musician with such a storied past to do a solo release which crosses genres, but I like Jay Geils Plays Jazz! as it shows the musicianship of Jay Geils on guitar, and delves into his diverse and deep background and love of music. This may seem a far cry from his past hit releases such as Full House (1972) and hits tracks such as Whammer Jammer and First I look At The Purse, but the guitar playing is as solid now as it was then. Jay Geils Plays Jazz! was released on Stony Plain Records.
Note – Music Scene is not sponsored by any third party. All music that is written about in Music Scene are the views and experiences of the writer, and reflects a compilation of music, sent to us by musicians, acquired during travel to unique destinations, recommended by our country host or a local resident, or just happening upon a music event, or searching out a Jazz club, or other live music venue.
© August 2005. Luxury Experience www.luxuryexperience.com All rights reserved.