All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

232

Eliane Elias: Light My Fire

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
In a career that spans around 30 years and over 20 albums, singer and pianist Eliane Elias has come to epitomize a cool, sophisticated jazz sensibility, especially on the bossa nova songs of her native Brazil. On Light My Fire, she set out to extend the range of styles and grooves in her music and, in so doing, mixes Brazilian music with a couple of jazz standards and one or two famous pop and rock songs.

The Brazilian songs, which comprise the majority of the album, are splendidly cool and generate a real sense of positivity and optimism. Gilberto Gil's "Aquele Abraço" and "Toda Menina Baiana" are especially effective; Gil and Elias forming a beautiful vocal partnership on both, while Elias' daughter, Amanda Brecker, adds backing vocals to "Toda Menina Baiana." Elias' own "What About The Heart (Bate Bate)" is romantic and upbeat, the pianist's sparkling solo carrying the tune through to the fadeout.

Two jazz classics also get a makeover. Kenny Dorham's "Stay Cool," with Elias' own lyrics, also works beautifully; it's a slinky, seductive rendition, with Lawrence Feldman's flute adding to the sense of laidback, casual sensuality. Elias' rework of Paul Desmond's iconic "Take Five" is an atmospherically relaxed contrast to the original—another success, despite a rather repetitive section replacing Joe Morello's famed drum solo—and features the pianist's vocalese and Randy Brecker's muted, sparse, trumpet.

The Doors' classic "Light My Fire" also gets the slinky, laidback treatment, but works less well. Jim Morrison's original vocal was a yell of desperation, as if the act of "lighting his fire" was the most vital thing in the world; here, Elias sounds far less concerned. This apparent lack of connection is also present on two versions of Stevie Wonder's "My Cherie Amour," one sung in English, the other in French.

The musicianship on Light My Fire is superb, with every player slipping effortlessly into the required groove. Even if a couple of numbers don't quite come off, it's still good to see established artists taking a few chances, and there's still plenty of music that does exactly what it should.

Track Listing: Rosa Morena; Stay Cool; Aquele Abraço; Light My Fire; Isto Aqui O Que É (Silver Sandal); My Cherie Amour; Toda Menina Baiana; Bananeira; Made In Moonlight; Turn To Me (Samba Maracatύ); Take Five; What About The Heart (Bate Bate); My Cherie Amour (French Version).

Personnel: Eliane Elias: vocals, piano; Gilberto Gil: vocals, guitar; Randy Brecker: trumpet; Oscar Castro-Neves: guitar; Romero Lubambo: guitar; Ross Traut: guitar; Lawrence Feldman: flute; Marc Johnson: bass; Marivalso dos Santos: percussion; Paulo Braga: drums; Rafael Barata: drums; Amanda Brecker: vocals (7).

Title: Light My Fire | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Concord Music Group

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Beheaded Totem CD/LP/Track Review
Beheaded Totem
by James Fleming
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Super Mood CD/LP/Track Review
Super Mood
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2018
Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read "Things Have Changed" CD/LP/Track Review Things Have Changed
by Doug Collette
Published: April 28, 2018
Read "The Chopin Project" CD/LP/Track Review The Chopin Project
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 21, 2018
Read "Dreams And Other Stories" CD/LP/Track Review Dreams And Other Stories
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2018
Read "Cosmological Horizons" CD/LP/Track Review Cosmological Horizons
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 6, 2018
Read "We Are All" CD/LP/Track Review We Are All
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 10, 2018
Read "Love & Surrender" CD/LP/Track Review Love & Surrender
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 9, 2018