Rekindling the Fire

Eliane Elias - Light My Fire
Eliane Elias

Light My Fire (Concord Picante CPI-32761-02, 2011)

Brazilian pianist, vocalist and composer Eliane Elias explores Afro-Brazilian rhythms in her latest album, titled Light My Fire. This time she has regained her fiery piano and vocal energy by adding samba and Afro-Brazilian beats from Bahia.

Light My Fire includes five originals by Elias as well as covers of musical works by songwriters such as rock legend Jim Morrison and The Doors, soul star Stevie Wonder and jazz saxophonist Paul Desmond.

Eliane Elias mixes powerful rhythmic pieces with intimate ballads. Throughout the album she performs a series of her superb piano solos. “Some of the tunes are cool and laid back, but others are quite rhythmic and joyful,” says Elias. “And they have some different grooves. I tend to gravitate toward romance – beautiful melodies, beautiful harmonies and rhythms with a great feel. But more than anything else, I’m singing about love on this record in its different aspects and dimensions.”

Light My Fire includes numerous talented musicians like legendary guitarist/vocalist Gilberto Gil and jazz trumpeter Randy Brecker. Her outstanding rhythm section includes renowned guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves, bassist Marc Johnson, drummer Paulo Braga, percussionist Marivaldo dos Santos, drummer Rafael Barata, guitarists Romero Lubambo and Ross Traut, and flutist Lawrence Feldman. Elias’ daughter, singer-songwriter Amanda Brecker appears on Other Also on hand to sing with Elias and Gil on “Toda Menina Baiana.” Although I’m not a big fan of jazzified rock songs, the electric slide guitar work by Ross Straut is outstanding in “Light My Fire.

I’ve made more than 20 records in my career,” says Eliane Elias. “I’m proud of all of them, but I’m especially excited about this one. It feels like it has a life and an energy all its own. With very few exceptions, nearly all of the songs were first takes. Everybody in the studio was so focused, and it was such a fun record to make. The music was really flowing, and we all felt very relaxed. From the very first day, not a note was wasted by anyone. It was an amazing experience.”

I’m very excited about the music on this album,” concludes Elias. “I think it’s cool, sexy and fun. This recording is the truest expression of what I’m doing right now, and it represents very closely what people hear me doing live in concert.”

Light My Fire is a striking combination of jazz and Afro-Brazilian rhythms by one of the most interesting Brazilian musicians based in the United States.

Buy the album or MP3 downloads and listen to music samples:

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