#1 on the Billboard Jazz Chart!

Music From Man of La Mancha debuted at #1 on the Billboard Jazz Chart – let’s keep the momentum rolling! Thanks to all the fans and congratulations to Eliane, Concord Records and the whole team!

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All About Jazz give ‘Dance of Time’ 5 stars!

Two years ago, Eliane Elias released Made In Brazil (Concord, 2015) and all it did was win the 2016 Grammy for Best Latin Album. It’s a great album and with Dance of Time, Elias hasn’t repeated a successful formula; she’s perfected it. This is an opulent recording, rich in its authenticity and lavish in its glorious accomplishments.

 As Elias has transitioned from a pianist/vocalist to a vocalist/pianist (there is a difference), some fans and certainly some critics have wondered if she has wavered too close into crossing over into pop music. Not to worry. Whether she is singing in English or Portuguese, she remains as far from being a pop singer as a hot dog is from being a T-bone steak.

Elias’ voice is a bit delicate and she compensates for her lack of sheer power by choosing material that best compliments her, a trait she shares with Sade, another vocalist who doesn’t overwhelm with raw power and substitutes expertise in knowing her limits and wisely choosing material which best suits her. Elias’ assured voice breathes new life into standards like “Speak Low” and “You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me” and her assured confidence as a songwriter makes her own original composition, “Little Paradise” seemlike something you’ve heard before even though you haven’t.

For nearly an hour Elias, deftly crafts a record that seems like a live performance augmented by a white-hot band of supporting musicians. Dance of Time fills the listener with joy as it soothes one moment on a sexy ballad like “Little Paradise” one moment and irresistibly swaying to “O Pato.” Among the guest players Mike Mainieri, a compadre from Steps Ahead and ex-husband, Randy Brecker sit in adding their contributions on vibraphone and flugelhorn respectively. Mark Kibble lends his tenor vocalizations to the affair and stands out on the “Copacabana” (no relation to the cheesy Barry Manilow song, thank you very much) where he harmonizes with Elias’s beguiling lead and as she lays out, Kibble brings it home with an euphoric closing.

Special attention should be directed to “Samba De Orly ” and “Not To Cry (Pra Nao Chorar)” two collaborations with Brazilian singer/songwriter/guitarist Toquinho who worked with Elias when she was seventeen. “An Up Dawn” is a spirited duet with Elias’ piano teacher, Amilton Godby. “I wanted to include musicians who were very important in the start of my career,” Elias says. “Dance of Time represents the spectrum of my career from the very beginning until now.”

Recorded in Brazil and produced by Steve Rodby and Marc Johnson, the musical and marital partner to Elias, the idea is to pay homage to 100 years of samba music and it more than delivers on that score. As Elias has transitioned from a pianist/vocalist to a vocalist/pianist (yes, there is a difference), some fans and certainly critics have wondered if she has wavered too close into crossing over into Diana Krall territory and leaving the jazz behind in pursuit of reinventing hereself as a sultry chanteuse. That’s a suspicion born out in part to how many glamour shots of Elias clad in a slinky black dress seem to be showing up in the CD booklet. Not to worry. Elias remains first and foremost a jazz musician whose piano playing precision is impeccable. Whether she is singing in English or Portuguese, Elias remains as far from being a pop singer as a hot dog is from being prime rib.

There is a certain degree of frustration that comes with Dance of Time and that is despite how good it is it will struggle to find the audience and attention it so richly deserves. The sad truth is one would think—one would hope—scoring a Grammy award win would herald an awakening and a rediscovery of Brazilian jazz in general and Elias in particular. That probably won’t happen. Further, the fact that Dance of Time is neither as non- disposable as much of the music on smooth jazz stations is or as staid and safely escondened in the dusty past as some of the programming on contemporary jazz stations, where is this terrific album’s natural niche?

The immediate answer is it belongs in the record collection of anyone who loves honest and authentic Brazilian jazz and Dance of Time is as honestly authentic as it gets. Eliane Elias has been one of the genre’s most consistently masterful virtuosos and even when she’s looking back fondly, she is still moving forward confidently. Needless to say this is top shelf material and highly recommended.

 by Jeff Winbush

5 stars

Track Listing: O Pato; You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me; Copacabana; Coisa Feita; By Hand (Em Maos); Sambou Sambou; Little Paradise; Speak Low; Samba De Orly; Na Batucada Da Vida; An Up Dawn; Not To Cry (Pra Nao Chorar)

Personnel: Eliane Elias: vocals, piano; Marcus Texiera: acoustic guitar (1-3, 5-10); Conrado Goys: electric guitar (4); Marcelo Mariano: electric bass (1-10); Edu Ribero: drums (1-3, 5-10); Celso de Almeida: drums (4); Marivaldo dos Santos: percussion (2, 3, 9); Gustavo di Dalva: percussion (2, 3, 9); Amilton Godoy: piano (4); Joao Bosco: vocal, guitar (4); Mark Kibble: background vocals (3, 5, 8); Mike Mainieri: vibraphone (2, 7); Randy Brecker: flugelhorn (8); Toquinho: vocal (9, 12), guitar (12)

Title: Dance of Time | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Concord Records

Read the full review here.

Eliane Elias Celebrates Samba With ‘Sambou Sambou’: Exclusive Premiere

Billboard kicks off Carnival with an exclusive premiere of a track from the Brazilian jazz pianist and singer’s upcoming album.

Eliane Elias’ new album Dance of Time celebrates the centennial of  samba — and the rhythm of Brazilian carnival.

“Samba is the most authentic and contagious dance rhythm of Brazil,” says the celebrated jazz pianist and singer. “And there is no better place in the world to capture this music. I just had to be in Brazil to make Dance of Time.”

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Eliane Elias’ ‘Dance of Time’ CD Reverberates the Rich History of Brazilian Samba

LOS ANGELES – There are two kinds of samba. There is the rough, rootsy street music of early samba greats like Cartola, from samba’s golden age between the 1920s and the 1950s, and there is the softer, lyrical and more musically complex style developed since and is constantly revolving. The undisputed master of the latter is the legendary GRAMMY-winning pianist, singer, composer and arranger Eliane Elias, whose upcoming March 24, 2017 Concord Jazz label CD called Dance of Time, reminds us why samba and Brazilian music has endured commercially for well over 100 years.

Two years after seducing fans with her GRAMMY-winning Made in Brazil (Best Latin Jazz Album), Eliane was back in the studios in New York and her native Brazil to work on Dance of Time. Eliane’s style of samba owes a great deal to choro, a slower, jazz and tango influenced style of samba that emerged in the 1930s. It extended range of instruments and beyond the traditional percussion, guitar, and cavaquinho (a miniature guitar with a sound like a picked banjo) to take in the piano, flugelhorn, and trumpet.

According to a press release issued by Concord Jazz Records, “…With the presence of extraordinary guests including pianist Amilton Godoy plus singer-songwriting guitarists João Bosco and Toquinho—from Brazil—along with trumpeter Randy Brecker, vibraphonist Mike Mainieri and singer Mark Kibble—from the United States, Dance of Time celebrates certain people who were integral in Elias’ early artistic journey in both Brazil and the U.S. “I wanted to include musicians who were very important in the start of my career,” Elias says. “Dance of Time represents the spectrum of my career from the very beginning until now.”

The album is beautifully played and contains beautifully arranged classics, contemporary samba, and its quality shows up much current samba to the delight of those who like their samba with a rush! Dance of Time alternates between slower, choro-influenced sambas (O Pato, You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me, Copacabana) and a more upbeat, good time dance numbers of the style known as samba-cancao (By Hand-Em Maos, An Up Dawn, Coisa Feita) both are marked by Eliane’s lyrical genius.

One of the things I greatly admire about Eliane is that she always – literally always – shows respect and reverence to her native culture and Brazilian (samba) music. On many occasions a lot of Brazilian artists and non-Brazilian artists betray the rich and lively roots of samba with the increasing obsession with Carnival as a tourist spectacle. With Dance of Time, Eliane stays true to those spiritual roots and marked yet again a triumphant return to record a Brazilian national treasure.

By Danny R. Johnson
San Diego County News’ Jazz and Pop Music Critic

View article here