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The Book of Chet

Luciana Souza

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Album Review

Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza pays tribute to legendary trumpeter/singer Chet Baker on her 2013 album The Book of Chet. The third album Souza has recorded with husband and producer Larry Klein, The Book of Chet also features guitarist Larry Koonse, bassist David Piltch, and drummer Jay Bellerose. Interestingly, while Souza has picked a handful of songs that will certainly will be recognizable to longtime Baker fanatics, these are definitely lesser known standards from Baker's catalog. Subsequently, there is no "My Funny Valentine" or "There Will Never Be Another You," and instead Souza delves into evocative versions of "Forgetful," "He Was Too Good to Me," "The Touch of Your Lips," and others. These are intimate, reflective recordings that capture Baker's laid-back melodicism.

Customer Reviews

Nothing extra

I really enjoy this album it will be a great addition to a rainy day .. The minimalist approach to the recording is just right ..

The worst way to celebrate Chet Baker

This recording is just the opposite of what Chet Baker's music was all about (even in the trumpeter's darkest hours): boring, uninspiring and self-indulgent. Do yourself a favor and skip it entirely.

Should your spouse really produce your albums?

It sounds to me like this is another production by Luciana's husband, Larry Klein. He also produced her album, The New Bossa Nova. I love Luciana Souza. I have all of her CDs and I've seen her twice at Stanford Jazz with the masterful guitarist, Romero Lubambo. I have to say though, that these two most recent albums produced by Klein have been my very least favorites of hers. She can sing in almost any style and with many kinds of people, but it feels to me that the choice of tunes and arrangements on these two albums feel limiting and soulless compared to her other work.

I should also note that Chet Baker is one of my all time favorites trumpeters and singers. I've listed to his work hundreds of times. His rendition of The Very Thought of You is right up there in my top 5 most listened to songs. I don't think Luciana, on this album, does it justice. I'm very sorry. I really wanted to like it. After seeing her this summer, I was watching for the release of her 2 new albums, this one, and another Duets album. I'm going to buy this new Duets, but the Chet Baker tribute just doesn't make it for me.

Biography

Born: June 14, 1966 in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Luciana Souza's first solo album was An Answer to Your Silence (NYC Records, 1999). The Poems of Elizabeth Bishop and Other Songs (Sunnyside Records, 2000) was fifth place in The New York Times' 2000 The Year in Pop and Jazz: The Critics' Choice list. In 1991, she was elected Discovery of the Year by APCA for her work with Hermeto Pascoal. In the next year, she toured with the Zimbo Trio. In 1995, she was nominated for Outstanding Latin Act and, in the next year, Outstanding Jazz Vocalist at the...
Full Bio
The Book of Chet, Luciana Souza
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