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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove



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ELIANE ELIAS

Bossa Nova Stories

Blue Note 50999 2 28103 2 8

 

 


 
 
1. The Girl From Ipanema
2. Chega de Saudade
3. The More I See You
4. They Can't Take That Away From Me
5. Desafinado
6. Estate (Summer)
7. 
Day In, Day Out
8. I'm Not Alone (Who Loves You?)
9. 
Too Marvellous For Words
10. Superwoman
11. Falsa Baiana
12. Minha Saudade
13. A Ra (The Frog)
14. Day by Day
 
Eliane Elias - Vocals, piano
Marc Johnson - Bass
Paulo Braga - Drums, percussion
Oscar Castro Neves - Guitar (tracks 1-6, 8-12, 14)
Ricardo Vogt - Guitar (tracks 7, 13)
Toots Thielemans - Harmonica (tracks 6, 10)
Ivan Lins - Vocals (track 8)

 

For her second album this year (see my review of her previous CD

(www.musicweb-international.com/jazz/2008/Elias_5117952.htm), pianist/vocalist Eliane Elias has chosen to celebrate 50 years of the bossa nova with 14 pieces in that idiom. As a Brazilian growing up in Sao Paulo in the 1960s, she says she was surrounded by the bossa nova: "This was the popular music of the day, with its infectious rhythm and poetic lyrics: romantic, cool, jazzy, sensuous, sublime".

In some ways, this CD is like the album Imagina I reviewed recently by Karrin Allyson, with lyrics sung in both English and Portuguese. In fact, Elias eases us into the album by starting with the English words for The Girl From Ipanema, a pleasantly relaxed performance of a song that is in serious danger of becoming hackneyed. Eliane is not such a distinctive singer as Karrin Allyson, so it is a pity that this album gives precedence to her vocals over her piano playing. It is a delight when we hear her (however briefly) featured at the piano, as in the twinkling solos on Chega de Saudade and Day by Day.

In fact, the small instrumental content and the sweeping orchestral strings on half the tracks push the CD dangerously near the category of "easy listening", especially as most of the tunes are in the same genre: gentle bossas. However, the fact that an album is easy to listen to doesn't necessarily damn it, and Eliane introduces variety by treating familiar songs in fresh ways. For example, Day In, Day Out is given an infectious sway by the bossa beat and Elias's unusual piano voicings. And the presence of mouth-organiser Toots Thielemans adds piquancy to the two tracks he guests on.

If you have to choose between this album and its predecessor, I would recommend Something For You, but this new recording is still a very agreeable album, although perhaps best suited for use as "dinner jazz".


Tony Augarde


 

 

 

 



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