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May 2000

Eliane Elias
Everything I Love
Blue Note Records

The Brazilian-American pianist has been considering her roots on recent albums, drawing through lines from Brazil to jazz and back. The concept album basis takes a holiday, though, on her latest, Everything I Love. The title is not, in fact, a summation of the aesthetic program, as a sweeping statement of her musical affinities, but just the title song. The album is just an unpretentious and flowingly realized song set, on which the pianist spins off the familiar themes of "I Love You," "Nostalgia in Times Square," "Woody 'n' You," and an oblique, autumnal read on "Autumn Leaves" to close. She's in good trio company, between bassists Marc Johnson and Christian McBride and drummers Jack DeJohnette and Carl Allen, with a cameo from guitarist Rodney Jones. Periodically, Elias slips into her relaxed phrasing as a vocalist, whether with the supple alto coo of "I Fall in Love Too Easily," or the winking wit of "Blah Blah Blah," but her voice, nice as it is, is an adjunct to the main message here: the continuing maturation of an expressive jazz pianist, stretching out, assuredly and artfully, in trio territory.

Originally published in May 2000
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