Eliane Elias: Dance of Time review – sultry vocals, scintillating piano
Spontaneity … the Brazilian singer and pianist Eliane Elias
As a vocalist, the Brazilian Eliane Elias radiates as much starry smooth-jazzy hipness as Diana Krall, but as an improvising pianist she’s in a different league: a wellspring of polished bebop lines and skittish flourishes. Jazz hardliners might shy away from the purr of her sultry vocal sound, but the smart thing about this reappraisal of her long career is that her piano spontaneity coaxes and illuminates the music at every turn. Elias’s trumpeter ex-husband Randy Brecker and Steps Ahead vibraphone partner Mike Mainieri are in the lineup, and the songs embrace jazz standards, Brazilian classics and poignant originals such as the dreamy Little Paradise. Elias is scintillating on the João Gilberto vehicle O Pato, and turns Kurt Weill’s Speak Low into a Latin glide with Brecker’s flugelhorn curling through it. Her duet with veteran Brazilian singer-songwriter Toquinho on Not to Cry (Pra Não Chorar) makes a resonant finale, not least because Toquinho half-wrote it for her when she was 18, and it took this memorable session for them to complete it.
Thursday 23 March 2017