August 29, 2006

Eliane Elias Redefines Brazilian Cool

The veteran vocalist retuns with Around the City. Chill masters, here's a remix album for ya.

ElianeElias.jpgPianist and vocalist Eliane Elias in the past was known as an amazing jazz pianist who frequently paid homage to her Brazilian heritage. She still is, but Elias, who is now based in New York and has performed on albums by guitarist Earl Klugh and vocalist Michael Franks, has remade herself on a brand-new CD called Around the City that no doubt owes much to the success of Bebel Gilberto.

Gilberto is a favorite among the chill-crowd, who remake her songs with a downtempo bent. They could do the same with Elias' latest, a sublime mix of pop and jazz that features both English and Portuguese vocals. In fact, the two languages are combine on the CD's opening track, "Running," quite possibly the smoothest and best vocal tune of the year. It's impossible to get out of your head.

Making appearances on the CD are trumpeter Randy Brecker (her former husband), bassist Marc Johnson (her current husband), flutist Dave Valentin, percussionist Paulino da Costa and others. Her 18th album, released by the Bluebird record label, has covers of such well-known tunes as Bob Marley’s “Jammin’” and Santana’s “Oye Como Va.” Original tunes include “We’re So Good,” “Slide Show” and “Save Your Love For Me.”

Elias will be making appearances in the U.S. in September in Philadelphia, New York, Seattle and Los Angeles. If you live in or near any of those cities, you deserve a night out to hear this exquisite musician.

Posted by Brian Soergel at August 29, 2006 5:40 AM