Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Three Americas
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop
Eliane Elias lived in Sao Paulo, Brazil, until she was 20 and has lived in New York City ever since. The 37-year-old jazz pianist has often combined Brazilian bossa nova and North American swing with appealing results, but... more »
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Eliane Elias lived in Sao Paulo, Brazil, until she was 20 and has lived in New York City ever since. The 37-year-old jazz pianist has often combined Brazilian bossa nova and North American swing with appealing results, but now she has added Cuban songo, Argentine tango, and Puerto Rican guaracha for a broader look at Western Hemisphere music on an album aptly titled "The Three Americas." The disc fails to capture Latin rhythms at their most fervid, or jazz improvisation at its most ambitious, but it does combine elements of both into a bouncy, melodic music that should be readily accessible to almost any listener. Elias has a light but agile touch at the keyboard, and, if this undermines the percussive aspects of the instrument, it also assists the fluidity of her harmonic imagination. She accompanies her piano lines with scat vocals on several numbers, but when she attempts a lead vocal on Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Brigas Nunca Mais," the results are underwhelming. She's much better off on original instrumentals such as "The Time Is Now" and "Caipora," where the Cuban and Brazilian rhythms percolated by percussionists Manolo Badrena and Café create a musical surf that she and flutist Dave Valentin can ride. Best of all is her stirring tribute to Astor Piazzolla on the tango "Chorango," which features Gil Goldstein on accordion. --Geoffrey Himes
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Eliane's best CD so far, by far
douglasnegley | Pittsburgh, Pa. United States | 08/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD hooked me the minute I heard the first note of the first track. Eliane Elias is a tremendous talent, and on this one surrounds herself with great material and great musicians. "Up and Dawn" is fabulous, as are both "The Time Is Now", and "Chorango". The highlight of the CD, for me, seems to be the "lowlight" for a few underinformed 'editorial reviewers' I have read. Elias' renditions of Jobim's "Chega de Saudade" and "Brigas Nunca Mais" feature the virtuoso guitar playing of Oscar Castro-Neves alone with Eliane's bossa-style vocals and 'Jobim-esque' piano solos. Some have refered to these tracks as "lightweight". You listen to the brilliance of Castro-Neves' stunning samba/bossa rhythms along with Elias' heartfelt vocal phrasings and tell me who is crazy - me or the reviewers. My one nitpick is that I feel the CD goes one song over where it should end. Still, a 5-star recording."
On the whole, a remarkable album
vadim's dog | moscow | 12/09/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Eliane gives us a sample of her perceptions of the music of both Latin America and North America, forming a cohesive and interesting whole. I'm a bit biased because I'm in love with her voice, but the instrumentals really aren't ALL consistent--thus the 4 stars. The best tracks are by far the 2 vocal Jobim renditions of "Brigas, Nunca Mais" and perhaps my favorite Jobim tune of all "Chega de Saudade". These 2 songs alone make the album worth buying; they are at once seductive, subtle, and sublime. They capture the essence of bossa nova without sounding retrograde. The first track is also a wonderful treat, signifying to me the joy of awakening to a new day, a new era, a new love."
Brazil and Then Some
Jinkyu | 01/07/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Eliane's goal was to present the Three Americas -- North, Central, and South -- in this CD. Flutist Dave Valentin of Puerto Rico in four tracks and some Cuban rhythms in "Caipora" and "The Time Is Now" do bring a broader geographic flavor to the songs. Some American jazz elements are present in "Jumping Fox" and (perhaps) "Crystal and Lace." Eliane shows her versatility as a songwriter in presenting us with a lively Argentine tango in "Chorango," a solid track in which Gil Goldstein kicks in with an accordion. Still, with three Brazilian covers and nine songs penned by a Brazilian lady (one of which is an introduction to one of the covers), this is first and foremost a Brazilian music CD. That this would be the case is suggested by the opening track, "An Up Dawn," which instantly reveals its Brazilian musical lines and bouncy rhythms.
The covers are "O Guarani," in which Eliane plays a very pretty slow piano, and the bossa nova classics "Chega de Saudade" and "Brigas, Nunca Mais." These two are the only tracks in which she sings (she does some occasional harmonies in four of her nine otherwise instrumental songs). Still, I like to buy Eliane's CDs to listen to her original compositions, even without vocals. I also tend to like it more when she sticks to her Brazilian roots. Brazilian music, of course, can sound exotic in itself, but when it is combined with other Latin music, it is even more so. For me the most exotic song is "Jungle Journey": It really takes you to the tropics. Eliane's virtuoso piano work is enjoyable whatever she does, and she shows a fair amount of imagination in this CD. "The Three Americas" is an easy 4 stars, and I hold back from a 5th by only a whisker.