ELIANE ELIAS/I Thought About You:
As much as I look forward to each new Elias album, I wasn’t sure what to expect here. The opening piano riffs were comforting and they soon eased all fears this vocal tribute to Chet Baker was ill conceived and would roll off the rails. The Brazilian accented vocals give this an insouciance that keeps this from being a museum piece or a desperate career move. With a smart crew underpinning it all with some easy rolling cocktail jazz, these pros make it look way easier than it is and a good time is had by all. The familiarity on paper of the material and Elias’ easy charm at the mic make what could have easily turned into a gift shop record into something way much more. Taken separately, it’s easy to think the elements here wouldn’t work, but when put together this elegantly, the sum of the parts become grandly greater than the whole. A real left field winner that’s sure to raise eyebrows as Elias breaks new ground in a most unexpected way.