Eliane Elias review…August 31, 2019…..





Eliane Elias has long been one of our favorite artists in contemporary jazz, and she really ups the ante on her latest album, “Love Stories,” for Concord.  Herein, three originals mixed with several sweet covers from the golden age of bossa nova take a look at love in its many forms, both good and not so good.  Eliane puts her own personal stamp on this album, as she is vocalist, composer, pianist, arranger, lyricist, and producer!  Over the course of the last year or so, she has endured several personal trials.  First was the loss of her father, then a terrible accident in her hometown of Sao Paolo, in which she fractured her shoulder.  The ensuing rehab lasted for months, and, during that time, she was forced to remain virtually completely still.  It was while in this state, tho, that she began writing the originals and imagining the arrangements that would become this album, all the way down to the vocal nuances and musical intonations, virtually on a note-by-note basis.

The set begins with that familiar “La-la-la-la-la” refrain that opens Frances Lai’s immortal, Oscar-winning score for “A Man And A Woman.”  Eliane’s sexy, seductive vocal begs us all to take a chance on love!  The same can be said for her tribute to Sinatra on “Come Fly With Me.”  The spirited arrangement and vocal here is the very definition of classic bossa nova, and this served as one of our favorites.

Our other two favorites were almost polar opposites.  First, with love, inevitably comes loss and disappointment, and Eliane’s voice is at its most vulnerable and anguished in the powerful “Silence.”  She closes with another original composition, this one borne of the days sitting still and looking at “The View out my window,” where she envisions a “secret, clandestine love affair,” conveying a shadowy, seductive, dream-like image of the two lovers involved.

Once again, a great artist takes a period of personal loss and setback and turns it into something intrinsically beautiful.  In the case of Eliane Elias and “Love Stories,” it is pure, magical, musical gold!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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