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Eliane Elias: I Thought About You (A Tribute to Chet Baker)

Its release timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Chet Baker’s death, Eliane Elias’ I Thought About You is the most satisfying of the many Baker tributes that have surfaced of late, because the Brazilian pianist and vocalist so keenly appreciates a key shared attribute. Like the perennially misunderstood Baker, wrongfully pegged as a tragedian, Elias is first and foremost a sensualist.

The difference, gorgeously explored across these 14 tracks, is that Baker’s magnetism was derived from a potent blend of mystery and vulnerability while Elias, true to her heritage, trades in a more forthright brand of sexiness. Case in point: Apart from “My Funny Valentine” (which Elias opts to skip), “Let’s Get Lost” remains Baker’s most identifiable signature. Where Baker’s rendition suggests a furtive, wee-hours escape along befogged back roads, Elias navigates a wide-open emprise into romantic discovery.

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