MARC JOHNSON / ELIANE ELIAS, SWEPT AWAY



Marc Johnson & Eliane Elias. Photo by John Rogers, courtesy of ECM Records
The Brazilian pianist/singer Eliane Elias may be better known to jazz listeners for her recent records for Blue Note, “Something For You: Eliane Elias Sings & Plays Bill Evans” and “Bossa Nova Stories,” two popular turns that took advantage of her sensuality as much as her musical gifts, which moved her effortlessly into Diana Krall terrain. On the instrumental “Swept Away,” she shares top billing with her husband, bassist Marc Johnson, creating a blissful album that exercises her jazz chops and provides an opportunity to ply her estimable talent against like-minded colleagues, saxophonist Joe Lovano and drummer Joey Baron. Less meditative than most ECM albums, “Swept Away” swings from the bows of Elias’ athletic pianism, ushering in a particularly rewarding brand of straight-ahead jazz. Her charisma goes far on rollicking tracks like “One Thousand And One Nights” and the after hours romanticism of “It’s Time,” two out of five Elias originals. Her warm tone is abetted by the sonically superior studio techniques favored by ECM. Actually, everyone sounds remarkably present, from Johnson’s lush bass notes to Baron’s precise accompaniment on his kit, but it’s Lovano that truly surprises as sideman. On tracks like “Moments,” he enters the soundstage with a heavenly tone that embodies the delicacy of Stan Getz and the grounding emotional sweep that the venerated saxman perfected. Johnson and Elias have an earlier album together, “Shades of Jade” (2005, ECM) that promoted an inventive interplay coupled with an easy-going swing, but “Swept Away” ups the ante. This is an album with mainstream jazz appeal, where Elias embraces her lyrical side (“B Is For Butterfly”) with resolute grace and it gives this quartet a vivid sense of purpose and clarity. (11 tracks; 68:30 minutes) www.ecmrecords.com

This dynamic duo will appear in support of this CD release at Birdland in NYC from November 27 to December 1. Plan your visit: www.birdlandjazz.com

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JAZZ IN SPACE: MARC JOHNSON / ELIANE ELIAS, SWEPT AWAY

Thursday, November 15, 2012

MARC JOHNSON / ELIANE ELIAS, SWEPT AWAY



Marc Johnson & Eliane Elias. Photo by John Rogers, courtesy of ECM Records
The Brazilian pianist/singer Eliane Elias may be better known to jazz listeners for her recent records for Blue Note, “Something For You: Eliane Elias Sings & Plays Bill Evans” and “Bossa Nova Stories,” two popular turns that took advantage of her sensuality as much as her musical gifts, which moved her effortlessly into Diana Krall terrain. On the instrumental “Swept Away,” she shares top billing with her husband, bassist Marc Johnson, creating a blissful album that exercises her jazz chops and provides an opportunity to ply her estimable talent against like-minded colleagues, saxophonist Joe Lovano and drummer Joey Baron. Less meditative than most ECM albums, “Swept Away” swings from the bows of Elias’ athletic pianism, ushering in a particularly rewarding brand of straight-ahead jazz. Her charisma goes far on rollicking tracks like “One Thousand And One Nights” and the after hours romanticism of “It’s Time,” two out of five Elias originals. Her warm tone is abetted by the sonically superior studio techniques favored by ECM. Actually, everyone sounds remarkably present, from Johnson’s lush bass notes to Baron’s precise accompaniment on his kit, but it’s Lovano that truly surprises as sideman. On tracks like “Moments,” he enters the soundstage with a heavenly tone that embodies the delicacy of Stan Getz and the grounding emotional sweep that the venerated saxman perfected. Johnson and Elias have an earlier album together, “Shades of Jade” (2005, ECM) that promoted an inventive interplay coupled with an easy-going swing, but “Swept Away” ups the ante. This is an album with mainstream jazz appeal, where Elias embraces her lyrical side (“B Is For Butterfly”) with resolute grace and it gives this quartet a vivid sense of purpose and clarity. (11 tracks; 68:30 minutes) www.ecmrecords.com

This dynamic duo will appear in support of this CD release at Birdland in NYC from November 27 to December 1. Plan your visit: www.birdlandjazz.com

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