JT Track Premiere: Eliane Elias’ “To Each His Dulcinea”

New cut off forthcoming album “Music From Man of La Mancha” set for release on April 13

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Eliane Elias (photo by Priscila Silvestre)

For her latest album, singer/pianist Eliane Elias has turned to an earlier unreleased recording of songs from the musical The Man From La Mancha, originally composed by Mitch Leigh for the Broadway production in 1964. Her album Music From Man of La Mancha was recorded in 1995 and produced by Elias with co-production by Leigh, but was not released due to contractual circumstances. Leigh has since passed away.

The nine-track album, set for release on Concord Jazz on April 13, was recorded with two different trios—one with Elias accompanied by bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Jack DeJohnette and the other featuring Marc Johnson on bass with Satoshi Takeishi on drums, with Manolo Badrena joining on percussion.

All of the music was recorded live in NYC’s Power Station Studio and it was mixed at Leigh’s Secret Studio in New York City. “For the most part, we usually ended up using the first take,” Elias says. “That spontaneity and freshness when you first record something is hard to beat. Of course, the musicians were prepared and rehearsed. My choices as to which musicians played on which songs were based on the type of arrangements that I wrote. I played to the strengths of each trio. It brought beautiful and varied interpretations, different feels and colors to the music by having two different bassists and two different drummers.”

Says Elias about this particular track: “’To Each His Dulcinea’ sets the mood for the album, bringing an arrangement with a completely new introduction, solo form and a new ending. I brought more tonal colors and enhanced the already beautiful melody by creating different harmonies using pedal points. The rhythmic feel shifts from baião to samba for the piano solo interlude.  This arrangement was the first one I showed to the composer, Mitch Leigh, when we were preparing for the recording and he loved it. His enthusiasm and delight with the arrangement carried over into the recording sessions. This one features my working trio at the time; myself on piano, Marc Johnson on bass, Satoshi Takeishi on drums and Manolo Badrena added on percussion.”

Listen here:

Track listing:

  1. To Each His Dulcinea (5:42)
  2. Dulcinea (5:34)
  3. What Does He Want of Me (6:43)
  4. The Barber’s Song (5:07)
  5. It’s All the Same (7:16)
  6. I’m Only Thinking of Him (5:04)
  7. Man of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote) (7:40)
  8. The Impossible Dream (5:48)
  9. A Little Gossip (4:31) 

Eliane Elias tour dates:

 April 10-14      Birdland (New York, NY)
April 26-29      Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley (Seattle, WA)
May 2              City Winery Chicago (Chicago, IL)
May 4              Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (Pittsburgh, PA)
May 5              The Kennedy Center (Washington, DC)
May 11-12       Scullers Jazz Club (Boston, MA)
July 5               Myln Jazz Festival (Wadowice, Poland)
August 18       Margaret Lesher Theatre (West Creek, CA)
January 19-26, 2019    The Jazz Cruise

Eliane Elias on the web:

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Read Lee Mergner’s Tangents column on Eliane Elias.