Luciana Souza's debut on Mike Mainieri's NYC label established her not just as a strong vocalist, but also a composer of melodious yet highly complex music. Seven of the 11 tracks are originals, and they're handled expertly by Souza, saxophonist George Garzone, pianist David Kikoski, bassist John Lockwood, and drummer Ignacio Berroa. Souza handles the percussion herself, and co-producer George Schuller plays drums on the closing "Embraceable You." In addition to intricate pieces like "Muita Bobeira," "3 to 2 in Overtime," and "Say No to You," and brooding, poetic numbers like "Time Does Not Wait," Souza also includes two songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim: "Bonita" and "Retrato em Branco e Preto." The latter, which translates as "Portrait in Black and White," boasts a particularly creative arrangement. On "Azul Contente," Souza is accompanied only by bass and drums -- a choice perhaps meant to emphasize her intimate connection to the song, which was written by her talented parents, Tereza Souza and Walter Santos. Singing in English and Portuguese as well as wordlessly, Souza paints beautiful pictures, gives her heavy-hitting band plenty of room to blow, and gets her solo career off to a blazing start.
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AllMusic Review by David R. Adler