Sixteen recordings from piano virtuoso Eliane Elias have been assembled in this enjoyable collection.
An artist who uniquely bridges classical and jazz music, Elias has also built up an impressive repertoire of songs from her native Brazil.
The tracks here have been culled from six albums that Elias recorded between 1989 and 1997. Five of the songs come from her "Paulistana" album. Four come from "Eliane Elias Plays Jobim." Since the theme of the disc is "Brazilian Classics" it comes as no surprise that nine of the songs featured were either written or co-written by Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Standouts include Luis Bonfa’s "Black Orpheus (Manha De Carnaval)" performed by the trio of Elias, bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Jack De Johnette. There’s also Elias’ spirited playing on Jobim’s "One Note Samba," recorded by the same trio with the addition of Nana Vasconcelos on percussions. The pianist’s classical flourishes are evident on several numbers, most notably the dramatic solo "O Polichinelo (Clown)."
Although there’s not a false note on the CD, there are also no surprises. All of the recordings have been previously released.
Fans who already own Elias’ CDs won’t find anything new here. The only reason for them to buy the disc is to have the Brazilian songs in one package.
But, for listeners who are new to Elias’ passionate playing or who enjoy Brazilian jazz, this collection is recommended.