October 1997

Eliane Elias
The Three Americas
Blue Note Records

Taking new chances on ten originals and two Jobim classics of The Three Americas, Brazilian-born pianist Eliane Elias melds influences of Central and South America to North American jazz.

Elias is a powerful lyrical pianist who has demonstrated on previous recordings that she can imaginatively stretch out. On this disc, Elias displays her keyboard prowess (and occasionally sings in Cool bossa style) as she artfully merges and shifts among various Brazilian beats, Cuban rhythms, Argentinean nuevo tango, and straight ahead jazz-occasionally, in the same tune!

Such diversity is served well by Elias' cohesive core companions-bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Satoshi Takeishi- and special guests flutist Dave Valentin, accordionist Gil Goldstein, violinist Mark Feldman, guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves, percussionists Manolo Badrena and Cafe, and others.

Elias not only understands how to make great music, but has wisdom, confidence and perseverance to keep it happening. This is her eleventh album in as many years, but mining her native rhythms makes this her most authentic journey.

Originally published in October 1997
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