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Eliane Elias: Music for All Purposes

By Published: February 13, 2004
"It's not easy," she said. "But that was a special project. I knew it was one special thing I was going to do singing. That actually was my own idea, because fans were constantly asking me, when I play live, 'Please sing something. Please sing something.' So I figured, OK, I'm going to do one special project singing. What would it be? And I started looking for material and it happened that Jobim tunes were the ones I said, 'OK, this I can do. I feel them. I know them inside my heart.' It's something I felt comfortable doing. I'm so familiar with them and where they come from."

Such is the flexible nature of Elias' muse. The music can be soft and romantic, or up-tempo hard bop with high-level improvisational, like on Everything I Love , music that stands on the opposite end of the spectrum from the new CD.

"Oh, completely," she acknowledged. Everything I Love was "improvisatory and whatever happened. On that record, one of the tunes, the engineer was asking, 'Give me some sound. Just play anything.' I think it was 'If I Should Lose You,' we [DeJohnette and Johnson] just happened to play whatever happened. And at the end, we all went, 'Wow, that was so cool.' He said, 'Well guess what? I recorded it.' So that was the spontaneity of that recording, to go to the studio and capture the spirit of things I do live, which are things that happen at the moment."

"And I love doing that. That's one big side of me and it's a big side of me that shows at my concerts, but I incorporate some of the other things as well — the Brazilian, the singing, and now the remixes," she said.

Elias has been touring through the year with her own group, as well as with a collection of players performing the music from Calle 54, the soundtrack from director Fernando Trueba's documentary film on Latin jazz that was nominated for a 2001 Grammy in the Best Latin Jazz Album category.

Around the holidays, she said, there will finally be some breathing room But even then, her sights will be on the next project, the next musical step.

"I'm going to be writing for the next month or two months preparing for the new CD for RCA. I have some ideas. I just have to put them on paper and see if everything comes through they way I want it to. It should be something interesting," she said with a glimmer.

Visit Eliane Elias on the web at .

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