Eliane Elias review…June 14, 2013….

ELIANE ELIAS

I THOUGHT ABOUT YOU:

A TRIBUTE TO CHET BAKER

CONCORD JAZZ  CJA 34191-02

I THOUGHT ABOUT YOU–THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER YOU–THIS CAN’T BE LOVE–EMBRACEABLE YOU–THAT OLD FEELING–EVERYTHING DEPENDS ON YOU–I’VE NEVER BEEN IN LOVE BEFORE–LET’S GET LOST–YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE IS–BLUE ROOM–JUST FRIENDS–GIRL TALK–JUST IN TIME–I GET ALONG WITHOUT YOU VERY WELL

Eliane Elias has made her mark in the world of contemporary jazz thru her stylish interpretations of her native Brazilian and bossa nova sounds.  Her latest album for Concord Jazz is a bit of a departure, altho the results are very impressive.  She chose to pay tribute to the great Chesney Henry Baker, Jr., affectionately known as “Chet,” a tremendously influential trumpeter whose improvisations and swingin’ style made him the epitome’ of Fifties’ cool jazz.

 

Eliane also felt a sense of history in the making of “I Thought About You,” fourteen classics from the Great American Songbook that were closely associated with Chet.  Many of her countrymen, such as Joao Gilberto, and Antonio Carlos Jobim, were also influenced by Baker’s works.  Eliane’s seductive, charismatic vocal style, as well as her piano and arranging skills, give each of these nuggets a life of their own, without diluting the contexts in which Chet originally performed them.  Add to that her exquisite choice of sidemen, and this becomes an intoxicating homage, indeed.  Oscar Castro-Neves is on guitar along with drummer Rafael Barata and percussionist Marivaldo dos Santos teaming with Eliane’s husband,  bassist Marc Johnson on the bossa tracks, while Steve Cardenas is on guitar along with Victor Lewis on drums and Johnson on bass on the traditional cuts.

 

Eliane is a true romantic at heart, and that passion shows in her reads of the leadoff title track, as well as “Ive Never Been In Love Before,” “Let’s Get Lost,”  and the Neil Hefti-Bobby Troup chestnut, “Girl Talk.”  She gets downright bluesy on the late-night torch song that tells us that “until you’ve met each dawn with sleepless eyes, You Don’t Know What Love Is.”  An elongated intro leads to a rapid-fire version of “Just In Time,” with only Eliane on vocal and piano, with Marc on bass.  She strips it down to only her voice and piano on the bittersweet set-closer, Hoagy’s “I Get Along Without You Very Well.”

 

We had two favorites, too.   Perhaps her bluesiest reading is “Everything Depends On You,” with subtly-understated guitar from Steve Cardenas.  The other is another playful romp between Eliane and Marc, Rodgers’ and Hart’s “Blue Room.”

 

It’s a sure bet that ol’ Chet would enjoy the treatment given some of his best-known works by Eliane Elias.  So, pour the wine, and curl up on the sofa with that someone special, and let “I Thought About You” stir your passions!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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