Photo by Chris Drukker.
Chirs Slawecki, All About Jazz.
"Producer de Souza envelops each live performance in the clear sound of a classic 1970s Creed Taylor CTI Records production: crisp but not cold, detailed but not cluttered, cool but not icy.
(...) de Souza proves to be a genuine master of Brazilian and jazz drumming. The leader's drums are the essential force that organizes and drives "Bebê," and after bassist Gary Mazzaroppi completes its encyclopedic round of instrumental solos, de Souza calls "Fotografia" back to order with one simple, masterful stroke. He stretches out "Vera Cruz" to more than twelve minutes with a drum solo that creates from overlapping rolls and counterrhythms a sound and pulse which rise like a ghost over the bandstand. Just like the leader's playing, if not the entire ensemble's, Trajetórias is a quiet, understated masterpiece that exponentially rewards repeated listens." (on Trajetórias CD)
Tom Greenland, The New York City Jazz Record.
"De Souza’s drumming is supple and energetic, never overbearing. On the baião and “Inútil Paisagem”,
a samba taken at breakneck tempo, he plays extended but well-developed solos, inspired yet unflustered by the pressures of high-speed improvisation." (on Trajetórias CD)
Scott Yanow, Jazz Journalist/Historian/Author.
"The alto-vibes frontline along with the fresh treatments of the repertoire gives Bossa Brasil its own individual group sound. While much of the music is mellow and melodic, it has its heated moments with plenty of subtle surprises heard along the way." (on Trajetórias CD)
Seton Hawkins, Hot House Jazz Magazine.
"A gifted and chameleonic drummer, Brazilian native Mauricio de Souza has, for more than a decade, proven to be a sought-after percussion force in the states since relocating to New Jersey in 2004. An excellent sideman and collaborator, Mauricio shines as a bandleader as he heads up a unique set of solo projects."
Amanda Panicali, Tap Into Rahway.
"I didn’t realize for the longest time, as I listened to Trajetórias at my desk, that I was actually using my pen to play air drums and keep the beat. It was a natural instinct. Every song, arranged by de Souza himself, is almost literally jumping with energy. Take “Inútil Paisagem,” for example, written by Antônio Carlos Jobim. The piece begins with a slow, dreamy vibraphone solo for about 50 seconds, calling to mind the sounds one would hear opening a music box. Then suddenly, de Souza’s drums burst onto the scene, playing so quickly that the image I saw next was someone running as fast as he/she possibly could. And that beat continues for the entire song thereafter, with the other instruments chiming in with frantic notes played up and down and down and up the scale. At about 3:53, they drop out again for a drum solo by de Souza. The cymbals keep up that constant, frantic beat in the background while the bass drum goes to town, intermingled with a few well placed, hard tap sounds. What struck me most about this solo was the way de Souza used pauses as if they were beats. When my mind, trying to understand the patterns, placed a beat where there wasn’t one, I got a jolt of surprise. But, the pauses still made sense in the pattern; the absence of sound was used as a method of creating sequence."
C. Maichael Bailey, All About Jazz.
"De Souza plays in a variety of formats (...) each anchored by his precise and swinging drumming. (...) The Sonics are acoustic and warm and the band swings with a grace and dignity that is becoming more rare in jazz recording." (on Different Directions CD)
Alain Londes, All About Jazz.
"Mauricio de Souza showcases the rich variety of how Brazilian and jazz music come together beyond bossa nova." (on Different Directions CD)
George Kanzler, Hot House Jazz Magazine
Different Directions, Bossa Brasil and Mauricio de Souza Group (Pulsa Music), finds the drummer from Brazil exploring his musical roots in his home country and his adopted one. His sure, suave rhythms, smooth stick propulsion and shimmering cymbal work create elegant frameworks for his ensembles. He also memorably arranged all but one of the tracks, including two originals.
Marcia Hillman, The New York City Jazz Record.
"de Souza has put together a tasty CD, proving he
and his band can swing as well as they can samba." (Different Directions)
Luis Raúl Montell, Jazz Caribe.
"Los arreglos de de Souza crean una atmosfera muy agradable de jazz brasilero." (Different Directions)
Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times Magazine.
"Souza's briskly swinging touch and interactive instincts fuel this date (Here. There...), which includes outsdanding solo contributions from pianist Carl Viggiani (Powell's "Consolação"), flugelhornist Gregory Rivkin ("I Can't Get Started") and vibraphonist Jerry Weir (Cedar Walton's "Firm Roots"). Mike Stern guests on Nascimento's lyrical "Vera Cruz" and burns on Joe Henderson's "Inner Urge"."
Woodrow Wilkins, All About Jazz.
"Here. There... is a solid mix of Brazilian music and jazz standards."
Zan Stewart, Star Ledger.
"De Souza belongs at a drum kit."
Marcia Hillman, All About Jazz New York (The New York City Jazz Record).
"This CD ("Here. There...") sounds like a group of talented musicians got together with songs that they liked, went into the studio and had a lot of fun. Drummer Mauricio de Souza spearheaeded the project ... to deliver a wide variety of material choices."
"De Souza is a talented drummer and the driving engine on this album ("Here. There..."), able to play in many styles with a delicate touch on the snare contrasting the heavy bottom of his bass drum."
"Each of the tracks on this album ("Here. There...") is a little gem and since there is enough variety to suit many tasted, this CD will probably garner much play. It is an exciting offering that is good for the ears and the spirit."
Steven Froias, Tri City News.
"Here. There... has been well recieved critically and commercially ... We dig it big time and we're sure you will, too."
Ryan Sparks, Sea of Tranquility Website (on "Here. There...").
"Together with bassist Morrie Louden the rhythm section has more swing than Derek Jeter as Mauricio's colorful accents perfectly underscore Carl Viggiani's speedy and free flowing piano solos on "Casa Forte" and "Consolação".
"In my opinion why the music on this disc (Here. There...) works so well is because it strikes a perfect balance somewhere between restrained and cut it loose. You have light and wistfully textured ballads "I Can't Get Started" and "Here. There..." sitting right alongside the exotic and muscular grooves of "Chovendo na Roseira" and "Vera Cruz"."
"Through it all De Souza is the anchor and the glue holding it all together and save for a few places here and there, where he steps up to the forefront and breaks into a short solo, his playing for the most part is as refined as it is understated. For De Souza you get the distinct impression that his goal here definitely isn't to demonstrate a lot of flash, but to serve the song and the arrangement."
"Here. There... gives the listener a great indication of just how effortlessly Mauricio De Souza is able to navigate seamlessly through these two styles of jazz. Basically if you appreciate the traditional jazz format but also like to have a bit of spice on the side, then you'll definitely want to check this one out."
Richard Skelly, U.S. 1.
"With an alternately authoritative and feathery touch on the drums, de Souza has a bright future in jazz."
Chris Spector, Midwest Record.
"Here. There...: ... Brazil grooves with a lounge and jazz twist that make even the chestnuts sound fresh. A solid, fully packed disc of upbeat happy music that will do nothing less than drive away the blues. ... Right on the money throughout, it is sophisticated and savvy with just the right amount of funk and winks to keep it right in your pocket. Every adult in need of a sonic fix should put this on their portable player pronto. Well done."