Brazilian pianist, vocalist and composer focuses on songs of affection on her new album, Love Stories. This time, she sings entirely in English and is joined by a lush orchestra. Love Stories include three original songs and seven classics from bossa nova’s heyday, bringing in songs made popular by Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Love Stories is delicately-crafted and easy to listen, very appealing to fans of smooth jazz with a Brazilian flavor. Eliane’s piano and voice engages in fascinating interplay with the orchestra. She says: “From the first note that’s chosen, every color I create in the arrangements, the modulations, the choice of keys, the small group arranging, the possibilities for orchestra – it’s as deep into my personal taste as it can go…because I’m envisioning the arrangement; deciding how to convey the song and perform it with the band, and being mindful of the future orchestrations all at once.”
The musicians involved in Love Stories include Marcus Texiera on guitar; Edu Ribeiro, Rafael Barata and Celso Almeida on drums; co-producer Marc Johnson on bass; co-producer Steve Rodby on bass; and arranger Rob Mathes.
Brazilian pianist Eliane Elias’ new album consist of unreleased pieces from the musical The Man From La Mancha, initially composed by Mitch Leigh for the Broadway production in 1964.
Eliane Elias’ Music From Man of La Mancha was originally recorded in 1995, co-produced by Elias and Leigh, but was not released due to contractual state of affairs.
Despite the play’s direct connection to Spain, there is not much visible Spanish influence in this recording. Instead, Music From Man of La Mancha has a strong Latin jazz and Brazilian essence, featuring Brazilian rhythms such as baião and samba.
Music From Man of La Mancha features Elias on piano, Eddie Gomez on bass; Jack DeJohnette on drums; Marc Johnson on bass; Satoshi Takeishi on drums; and Manolo Badrena on percussion.
On Music From Man of La Mancha, Eliane Elias created a masterfully crafted and highly expressive album, featuring outstanding performances by her colleagues and her signature piano sound with plenty of memorable moments, including the beautiful “Dulcinea.”
Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Eliane Elias learned the piano at age 7, and was already transcribing heaping solo portions of her parents’ jazz records by the age of 12.
After studying for 6 years (and teaching by age 15) at Brazil’s prestigious Free Center of Music Apprenticeship, where she learned to hone her incredible improvisational skills, she continued her classical education with Amilton Godoy and Amoral Vieria. She was also the protege of Vinicius de Moraes, lyricist and songwriting partner of Antonio Carios Jobim, a huge influence on Eliane’s work and master of the Brazilian Bossa Nova movement that indelibly influenced many American songwriters.
By age 17, she was touring with the best bossa nova composers and interpreters the world had to offer, composing her own pieces and performing at jazz dubs regularly. It was during this period she was befriended by jazz bassist Eddie Gomez and encouraged to come to New York City where she could showcase her incredible talent to the world.
Eliane moved to New York in 1981 and studied privately with Olegna Fuschi at the Julliard School of Music, eventually joining jazz ‘supergroup’ Steps Ahead (whose members included Gomez, Michael Brecker, Peter Ersta’ne and Mike Mainieri).
Signed to Blue Note Records in 1986, after releasing her debut album Amanda (named after her daughter), Eliane would ultimately become the label’s most prolific and enduring artist, delivering 15 albums, mostly instrumental – a great deal of them topping Billboard’s Jazz charts, including 1995’s Grammy nominated Solos & Duets, featuring Herbie Hancock, and 1998’s vocal turning-point, Sings Jobim, her first full-length venture into the vocal arena (and a follow-up to her earlier tribute to the master, Eliane Elias Plays Jobim).
Eliane signed with RCA/Bluebird Jazz in 2002, releasing the sultry Kissed by Nature. 2004’s Dreamer was her second album for the new label, where Eliane’s vocal work was just beginning. “Once I began singing more, fans would actually come up to me afterwards and ask me to please sing more in future shows. I also began to realize there was a technical side to it as fascinating as the piano. What I loved about working on Around The City is that there are songs where I stretch my abilities with both playing and singing.”
Around the City (2006) found her backed by Randy Brecker. Marc Johnson, Oscar-Castro Neves, Paulo Braga. Paulinho da Costa and many more.
Elias returned to Blue Note/ EMI in 2007 with Something for You, a tribute to the music of Bill Evans.
2008 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Bossa Nova. In celebration of this event, Elias recorded Bossa Nova Stories, featuring some of the landmark songs of Brazil with American classic and pop standards, exquisitely performed as only she can, with lush romantic vocals and exciting playing accompanied by a stellar rhythm section and strings recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London
Bossa Nova Stories (2009) was another best selling album. EMI Japan released Eliane’s first live instrumental recording in July 2009. The CD is called Eliane Elias Plays Live. It was recorded on May 31, 2002 in Amsterdam and is an all instrumental trio recording, featuring Eliane on piano, Marc Johnson on bass and Joey Baron on drums.
In May 2011, Eliane Elias released “Light My Fire.” Gilberto Gil appeared on three tunes, bassist Marc Johnson played on every track and Amanda Brecker made a guest vocalist appearance. Eliane went beyond bossa nova, incorporating different Afro-Brazilian rhythms from the northeast of Brazil to many of the songs.
On May 28, 2013 Concord Jazz released Elias’ I Thought About You (A Tribute To Chet Baker), an album that offered her personalized version on the work of a key American jazz artist.
The album Made in Brazil won the Best Latin Jazz Album Grammy Award. Made in Brazil, released on March 31, 2015 on Concord Jazz, marked a musical for Elias. it was her recording in her native Brazil since moving to the United States in 1981.
On March 24, 2017, Eliane released Dance of Time (Concord Jazz). The album features pianist Amilton Godoy, singer-songwriting guitarists João Bosco and Toquinho from Brazil, trumpeter Randy Brecker, vibraphonist Mike Mainieri and singer Mark Kibble from the United States. Dance of Time celebrates certain people who were integral in Elias’ early artistic journey in both Brazil and the U.S. Dance of Time also applauds the samba, a genre originating from Bahia.
Amanda (Passport Jazz, 1985)
Illusions (Denon, 1986)
Cross Currents (Blue Note, 1987)
So Far So Close (Blue Note, 1989)
Eliane Elias Plays Jobim (Blue Note, 1990)
A Long Story (Manhattan, 1991)
Fantasia (Blue Note, 1992)
Paulistana (Blue Note, 1993)
On the Classical Side (EMI Classics, 1993)
Solos and Duets (Blue Note, 1994)
The Three Americas (Blue Note, 1996)
Impulsive! (Stunt, 1997) Eliane Elias Sings Jobim (Blue Note, 1998)
Everything I Love (Blue Note, 2000)
Kissed By Nature (RCA Bluebird, 2002) Dreamer (Bluebird, 2004)
Around the City (RCA Victor, 2006)
Something for You: Eliane Elias Sings & Plays Bill Evans (Blue Note, 2008) Bossa Nova Stories (Blue Note, 2008)
Eliane Elias Plays Live (Somethin’ Else/EMI, 2009) Light My Fire (Concord Picante, 2011)
Swept Away (ECM, 2012) I Thought About You (Concord, 2013) Made in Brazil (Concord, 2015) Dance of Time (Concord, 2017) Music From Man of La Mancha (Concord Jazz, 2018)
Dance of Time by celebrated Brazilian pianist and vocalist Eliane Elias won the Best Latin Jazz/Jazz award at 18th Latin Grammy Awards.
The award-winning album includes high profile guests such as Amilton Godoy on piano, João Bosco and Toquinho on vocals and guitars, Randy Brecker on trumpet, Mike Mainieri on vibraphone and Mark Kibble (Take 6) on vocals.
USA-based Brazilian pianist and vocalist Eliane Elias has become of the most familiar names in the world of Brazilian-rooted jazz. Her new album Dance of Time takes Eliane back to her Brazilian roots in a brilliant manner.
Dance of Time was recorded in Brazil and the result is a truly exquisite recording. There is not a weak track on this album. Eliane Elias effortlessly balances her talent as a pianist and singer-songwriter, delivering some of her finest material, injecting spirited samba.
Dance of Time features first class talent from Brazil and the United States, including pianist Amilton Godoy, singer- songwriter and guitarist João Bosco, guitarist and vocalist Toquinho, trumpeter Randy Brecker, vibraphonist Mike Mainieri and the unmistakable remarkable vocals of Mark Kibble (Take 6).
The performances on Dance of Time are remarkable and the recording quality is superb.
Dance of Time is so far one of the best Brazilian-rooted albums of the year.