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Eliane Elias: Dreamer

Dual jazz citizen (piano and voice; Brazilian and American) Eliane Elias launches a full-scale attack on Astrud Gilberto territory with Dreamer, her first album performed entirely in English and also her first with an orchestra. Elias’ piano work on these 11 tracks is as effortlessly elegant as ever. She purposefully lets her playing support her singing, instead pushing her impressive rhythm section (drummer Paulinho Braga and bassist Marc Johnson, who she dubs her “dream team”), together with V.I.P. guests (and longtime pals) Oscar Castro-Neves and Michael Brecker, into the foreground. The results are appropriately lush and luxurious.

Listening to Elias and her esteemed playmates-gently steeped in muted brass and strings as they meander through

mink-lined arrangements of “Call Me,” “That’s All,” “So Nice,” “Baubles, Bangles and Beads” and various other misty

sentiments-is rather like lazing on Copa-cabana beach watching soft clouds play hide-and-seek with the stately Sugarloaf. Each sun-dappled track is appropriately dreamy, none more so than two Elias originals-the easy-flowing “Movin’ Me On” (a gorgeous testament to Brecker’s quiet majesty) and the meditative “Time Alone.” Keen-eared samba fans will also recognize Elias’ cunning nod to Stan Getz on “Doralice.” In homage to the version included on the landmark Getz/Gilberto, the piano lines Elias plays on the first chorus are exact transcriptions of Getz’s 1963 sax solo.

Originally Published