Reviews - Quotes

“Twenty-three year jazz veteran Lucia Newell is one of the most powerful vocalists on the Twin Cities scene.”
—Courtney Lewis, Minnesota Monthly, July 2004

“Lucia Newell turns out to be one of those gifted vocalists whose conception and intelligence is transcendent. Add to that some well crafted and conceived arrangements played with snap, crackle, and the requisite pop, and you have over an hour of music that is alive with authentic Jazz affirmation. Strayhorn would be very happy and proud.”
—Alan Bargebuhr, Cadence Magazine, March 2005

“Lucia’s a real jazz singer, one of the very few who’s really dedicated to what I would call jazz music - one of the few singers I would pay to see.”
—Phil Hey, drummer and composer, as quoted in Minnesota Monthly, November 2004

"When I first heard Lucia sing, she had a way of twisting the lyrics, expressing the lyrics, that was very personal, gave it a different slant...Her intuition, her muse, was very clear. She can do the ballad, very sensuous or smooth, and she can swing her butt off. She’s got a lot of dimension. I love that.”
—Pete Whitman, saxophonist, composer, arranger, from Minnesota Monthly, November 2004

“I love Lucia Newell's album "Steeped In Strayhorn'".  It is an absolutely wonderful album !!!

"Of course, I worked with Duke Ellington and "Swee' Pea"  -  Billy Strayhorn.... during my years at Univeral Studios in Chicago.  What a wonderful and enduring tribute to Strayhorn to have Lucia Newell sing these compositions from the Billy Strayhjorn songbook so well.  Great work!!!

"When I hear Lucia sing "Lush Life", I can close my eyes and see Billy Strayhorn in the control room of Studio 'A' working on yet another version of that unbelievably poignant song. WOW!!!”
—Bruce Swedien, Recording Industry Icon, Producer/Engineer, June 2006

“...one of the Upper Midwest’s most remarkable performers: the incredibly talented and much-admired Lucia Newell. Not only a Twin Cities audience favorite, she is one of those special vocalists whose talents are just as enthusiastically praised by the musicians with whom she works. Truly a musician’s singer, Newell is a total musician in her own right...”

“Strayhorn’s is an essential legacy, and Lucia Newell is a more than able interpreter of these works. —Arne Fogel, Jazz Vocalist and Radio Host, Twin Cities Jazz Notes, February 2005

“Backed by Pete Whitman’s all-star sextet Departure Point, singer Lucia Newell scaled new heights with her 2004 release Steeped in Strayhorn...”
—Tom Surowicz, Star Tribune, February 2005

“The essence of Strayhorn, whose collaborations with Duke Ellington are the stuff of jazz legend, glowed in the album’s fresh arrangements, the entire band rising to the occasion. Newell infused the Strayhorn nuggets with her delicious insouciance, uncanny sense of swing, and her command of Brazilian music’s incredible lightness of being, most spectacularly in the samba-steeped version of ‘Passion Flower.’“
—Rick Mason, City Pages, February 2005

“Onstage, Newell is a casual presence, cracking jokes, playing to the audience. But she is also a strong bandleader...Newell is very good, it seems, at creating the exact context she is seeking at the very moment she desires it...Newell will take the music deep into those personal places, the cracks in our armor, where jazz is free to go.”

“With this record, she’s not channeling Strayhorn, she’s sounding her own depths.”
—Tim Ghiring, Senior Writer, Minnesota Monthly, November, 2004

“Since returning to the Twin Cities, Newell has been a staple of the local jazz scene for two decades and is known for the Brazilian spices she sprinkles into her sets.”
—Rob Hubbard, St. Paul Pioneer Press, September 10, 2004

“...Newell sings in her low, burnished alto. And you believe her.”
—Tim Ghiring, Senior Writer, Minnesota Monthly, November, 2004

"Lucia Newell's voice is a wonderful instrument with a warm and pure jazz sound that elegantly dresses up these standards and Brazilian ballads."
  —Ben Sidran

"What's immediately striking is the warmth and evocativeness of Newell's voice, especially when she's singing in Portuguese..."
—Kevin Frazzini, Minnesota Monthly

"Destaque para a americana Lucia Newell, que brilharia facil em qualquer sala de concerto internacional." (Translation: "Distinction for Lucia Newell, who would shine in any international concert hall.")
—Roberto Muggiati, Manchete, Brasil

"Lucia Newell is a singer of songs for an audience to know and love."
—David Duff, Weekend

"Newell's voice rises and dips like a falling leaf in a warm breeze. You do not listen to "Enter You" as much as you are seduced by it."
—Rob Voedisch, Sun Current

"Lucia Newell's lifelong love affair with the music of Brazil is well documented on the new CD, Enter You, Enter Love. So is Newell's easy going command of Great American Songbook standards."
—Tom Surowicz, Twin Cities Reader

"The predominant mood is soft and seductive, the music steeped in the warmth and gentleness of the Brazilian bossa nova and samba and the Portuguese language. Newell is just about perfect for this setting."
—Bob Protzman, St. Paul Pioneer Press

"Lucia Newell has the warm, melodic voice of a mature sounding Astrud Gilberto."
—Jerome Wilson, Cadence

"As reader or singer, Lucia Newell is a magnificent interpreter who communicates through intonation, phrasing, faultless diction (in two languages) and a husky contralto... Lucia turns her heart inside out, filling the air with the emptiness and despair the lyrics demand."
—Andrea Canter, Jazz Police, September 2006

"Wintry yet warm, a tinsel-time treat with depth, this is a CD that delivers ... You get great arrangements, bristling swing, powerful solos, timeless carols, charismatic vocals by Lucia Newell ...Newell sounds like a frozen prairie version of Shirley Horn on the marvelous and moving ballad In the Bleak Midwinter."
—Tom Surowicz [on Caviani's Angels We Haven't Heard], Star Tribune