Thursday, March 12, 2009

Eliane Elias: Tribute to 50 Years Bossa Nova

Eliane Elias: Eerbetoon aan 50 jaar Bossa Nova (Nederlands) Eliane Elias: Tribute to 50 years Bossa Nova (English)

A (rather extensive) Eliane Elias Discography - Hans Koert

Bossa Nova Stories
ELIANE ELIAS: Tribute to 50 Years of Bossa Nova
Hans Koert

Today I love to point you to a great new album by the US - Brazilian piano player and vocalist, the
always charming Eliane Elias. The album is titled Bossa Nova Stories and her latest one in a series of almost two dozens of great releases. At the bottom of this blog you'll find a list of records made by Eliane Elias during the past twenty-five years.

This album wants to be a tribute to the Bossa Nova - the music style born in 1958 with the tune Chega de Saudade ( also known by its English title No More Blues), recorded by Elizete Moreira Cardoso, the famous Brazilian singer and actress discovered in the 1930s by
Jacob do Bandolim. Bossa Nova means in Portuguese, in fact, "new trends". In 1958 she was invited to sing on an album titled Canção do Amor Demais, with Bossa Nova compositions made by Vinícius De Moraes and Antonio Carlos Jobim, with João Gilberto at the guitar. It is a fact that the tune Chega de Saudade ( No More Blues) was already recorded for Victor by the Kentucky Jazz Babies ( 1929) and a few years later by Eddie South, but, okay, both Jobim as De Moraes gave it that Bossa Nova groove, a mixture of the Brazilian ( Samba) and the US (Jazz) music cultures. This style of music became extremely popular for a dozen years and then it was passed by new hypes; the Bossa Nova tunes, however, became standards in the jazz repertoire.
Eliane Elias was born in Sao Paolo (Brasil) around that same period (Yes she is !!) and grew up in a musical family with her mother being a classical piano player. Her mother loved to play the jazz- and Brazilian music too. When Eliane was a young girl she was already fascinated by the jazz and she admired especially the music of Bill Evans. She learned to play the piano and worked with big bands before she moved to New York in the early 1980s, where she maried Randy Brecker ( their daughter Amanda recently made her debute album Here I Am) and recorded for his band Steps Ahead. Up to now she made a lot of recordings and I heard her singing for the very first time on the soundtrack of the film Calle 54. On that great film, a tribute to the Latin American music, she sings Samba Triste ( a Baden Powell composition) with her trio, featuring Marc Johnson and Satoshi Takeishi. Love to share with you a fragment from that film Calle 54, featuring Eliane Elias singing Samba Triste.

Eliane Eelias at the North Sea Jazz Festival - Rotterdam (July 2008) (photo courtesy Hans Koert)
I heard her for the very first time live at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam last year; by accident, only a quarter of an hour I guess, to be honest, because her performance overrunned its time and I was in time to hear the great Ron Carter in concert. In those 15 minutes I learned what a great vocalist and piano player she is. At the stand on the central square of Ahoy in Rotterdam she gave an interview that I love to share with you.

She tells about her fascinating for the music of Bill Evans. Her latest album titled Something For You and her concert in Rotterdam were dedicated to him. Her husband, she divorced Randy Brecker, Marc Johnson, bass player in her stage trio, was the last bass player in the Bill Evans Trio before he passed away September 1980. Thanks to a tape that Marc received from Bill Evans they decided to make a tribute to this great piano player, who, as I wrote at the beginning of this blog, was her first introduction to jazz. In August she will be, for a whole week, one of the guests at the Bill Evans 80th Birthday Tribute in the Iridium in New York City.
She also tells about her new project, a tribute to the Bossa Nova. This great record has been released some months ago and contains 14 well known Bossa Nova tunes, traditionals like Jobim's The Girl From Ipanema, Chega de Saudade of course and Desafinado and tunes like Marvelous For Words, The More I See You and Day By Day that have become standards in jazz. A special one is Superwoman, a Stevie Wonder composition with our own Toots Thielemans on his Muziekske, his harmonica. The tunes, no suprise, are all well known - some with a large orchestra, using strings, rather common for this kind of music and a quartet featuring Oscar Castro-Neves on the guitar, Marc Johnson on bass and Paulo Braga on drums.
I found a fragment of a concert, recorded some years ago, at the San Javier jazz festival in Spain with Eliane Elias at the piano, Gustavo Saiari on guitar, Marc Johnson on bass and Satoshi Takeisha on drums. Eliane Elias had released the album The Dreamer, dedicated to the music of A.C. Jobim. The tunes are Ipanema and Doralice.

This lovely vocalist has fascinated me with her latest recording and made me anxious to hear more of her, like the Bill Evans tribute Something For You. Love to finish with a short interview with Eliane on the Bloomberg channel. Hope you like it

I grew up in Sao Paulo in the 1960s, hearing the Bossa Nova which was all around us. It was the popular music of our day, with its infectious rhythm and poetic lyrics. It was romantic, cool, jazzy, sensious. I lived and reather this music. It's in my DNA. (Eliane Elias)

A rather extensive Eliane Elias Discography
Hans Koert
(The most recent albums first)

Bossa Nova Stories ( Blue Note / EMI)
Something for you ( Blue Note / EMI)
Around the city ( RCA Victor )
Dreamer ( Bluebird / BMG Music )
Kissed by nature ( Bluebird / RCA / Victor BMG) Everything I love ( Blue Note )
Eliane Elias Sings Jobim (Blue Note)
Impulsive (Stunt Records)
The Three Americas ( Blue Note )
Solos and Duets ( Blue Note Records)
On the Classical Side ( EMI Classics )
Paulistana ( Blue Note)
Fantasia (Blue Note)
Eliane Elias Plays Jobim ( Blue Note )
A Long Story (Manhattan / Blue Note)
So Far So Close ( Blue Note)
Cross Currents (Denon)( LP on Blue Note)

= Brazilian Classics = A compilation of Eliane’s Blue Note years
= The Best of Eliane Elias, Volume 1: Originals
= Best of Eliane Elias Sings
= Best of Eliane Elias Plays
= Perspectiva
= Timeless Eliane Elias
= Illusions
= Amanda Passport
Amanda Brecker - Here I Am
Marc Johnson - Shades of Jade
Portrait of Bill Evans
Denyce Graves - The Lost days
Steps Ahead

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll second this recommendation. It's a beautiful record

Harold Z (NJ) (USA)
(Organissimo Jazzforums)

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Blue Train said...

I was rather disappointed in this release. I didn't hear anything that made me sit up and say, "oh, yeah!". The recording plays it safe and that's a shame because I enjoyed her previous release Here Is Something For You for precisely those reasons, the "sound(s) of surprise".

Blue Train
(Blindman Blues forum)

1:34 PM  

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