Eliane Elias came to New York City from Brazil in 1981 and since then, building an impeccable reputation as a singer, songwriter, arranger, and pianist, her recording projects never brought her home. This album, recorded in Sao Paulo, marks that homecoming.
It blends six Elias originals with Brazilian standards going back to Ary Barroso’s 1930s tunes “No Tabuleiro da Baiana” and “Brazil” (a 1948 hit for Les Paul). Her Brazilian accompanists include electric bassist Marcelo Mariano, guitarist Marcus Teixeira, and venerable composer-guitarist Roberto Menescal. String accompaniment was added at Abbey Road Studios in London.
Elias’ vocals are, as always, focused and sensual. Her interpretations of three tunes by the late Antonio Carlos Jobim include “Waters Of March,” framed in a smooth jazz arrangement augmented by American vocal ensemble Take 6. Two other Jobim originals, “Esta Seu Othar” and “Promessas,” are paired in a single performance featuring guitarist Teixeira, who also adds vibrant, elegant bounce to “Brazil.”
Menescal contributes backup vocals and guitar behind Elias on his compositions “Voce” and the ’60s bossa nova favorite “Rio.”
Elias wanted to create an album blending Brazilian old and new, looking forward and back simultaneously. Here, she’s admirably achieved that goal.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s June ’15 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.