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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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ELIANE ELIAS

Made In Brazil

Concord CJA 36693-02

 

 

  1. Brasil (Aquarela Do Brasil)

  2. Você

  3. Águas De Março

  4. Searching

  5. Some Enchanted Place

  6. Incendiando

  7. Vida (If Not You)

  8. Este Seu Olhar/Promessas

  9. Driving Ambition

  10. Rio

  11. A Sorte Do Amor (The Luck Of Love)

  12. No Tabuleiro Da Baiana


Eliane Elias - Vocals, piano, keyboard

Take 6, Mark Kibble, Amanda Brecker, Ed Motta - Vocal

Roberto Menescal - Vocals, guitar

Marcus Teixera - Guitar

Marcelo Mariano - Electric bass

Marc Johnson - Acoustic bass

Edu Ribeiro, Rafael Barata - Drums

Mauro Refeco, Marivoldo dos Santos - Percussion

Rob Mathes - Orchestral arrangements, conductor


Eliane Elias was born in Brazil, growing up in São Paulo, but moved to New York in 1981. She is a highly gifted pianist/keyboard player as well as a composer, arranger, producer and, in addition, no mean vocalist. Over the years she has revisited the music and rhythms of her native country from time to time – for instance, on the recording she made for Blue Note entitled Bossa Nova Stories (2008). Her compositional skills have become even more evident recently. Here, in an album recorded in São Paulo, half the tracks were written by Elias herself, three of them in collaboration with her husband, bassist Marc Johnson. She is surrounded by a select company of Brazilian musicians for this occasion, together with additional vocal talent such as the gospel group Take 6 and soul singer Ed Motta. She sings in English and Portuguese, sometimes in both languages on the same track.

Elias has a husky singing style with the capacity to surprise with her range. She is at her best vocally on numbers like Some Enchanted Place, a catchy tune embellished by stylish piano accompaniment, with Barata on drums and a contribution (voice) from her daughter, Amanda Brecker. She also combines well with other singers, as on Vida (If Not You) with the soulful Ed Motta, or Voc ê, where she shares an affectionate duet with composer (and guitarist) Roberto Menescal. Take 6, fronted by Mark Kibble, are prominent on tracks such as the samba Incendiando.

It is as a pianist and keyboard player that Eliane Elias truly shines, at least for this reviewer. On Você, for instance, her playing is expressive and vigorous and on Jobim's Águas De Março (The Waters of March) she goes to town on keyboard. On Rio, a bossa, on the rueful ballad A Sorte Do Amor (The Luck Of Love),on a further Jobim piece, Este Seu Olhar/Promessas, or on the funky No Tabuleiro Da Baiana, she is uniformly excellent. To all who love the Brazilian musical ethos and heritage or who simply enjoy exemplary jazz piano backed by fine musicians, this disc can be commended.

James Poore



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