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Eliane Elias

The classical tradition meets the spontaneity of jazz through the virtuosic playing of Brazil-born and New York-based pianist Eliane Elias. A former member of jazz ensemble Steps Ahead, Elias has continued to explore two distinct musical streams through her solo recordings and her performances since the mid-'80s. In 1993, she became one of the few artists to release jazz and classical albums simultaneously. In a review of a concert in her homeland, Brazil magazine praised Elias for "her dazzling right-hand runs, executed often at frightening speeds. Her command of the keyboard was total. Her harmonic sensibility caused a sense of wonderment."

Elias may have inherited at least some of her musical talents from her mother, Lucy, a classical pianist who often played jazz records in the family home. After studying for six years at the Free Center of Music Apprenticeship in São Paulo, she continued to study classical technique with Amilton Godoy and Amaral Vieira. By her teens, Elias was composing her own pieces and performing in jazz clubs. While touring in Europe in 1981, she met jazz bassist Eddie Gomez and was encouraged to travel to New York. Arriving in the Big Apple the following year, she studied privately with Olegna Fuschi at the Juilliard School of Music. Elias' professional career received a boost when she was invited to join Steps Ahead, a jazz "supergroup" featuring Michael Brecker, Peter Erskine, Mike Manieri, and Eddie Gomez. She recorded one album with the group -- Steps Ahead -- in 1983. Shortly after leaving Steps Ahead, Elias began collaborating with trumpet player Randy Brecker, whom she subsequently married but later divorced. Their sole duo album, released in 1985, was named after their daughter Amanda. The following year, Elias launched her career as a bandleader. Since then, she's alternated tours with two different trios, one featuring drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Gomez and the other featuring drummer Erskine and her current husband, bassist Marc Johnson. Elias has also performed with a third trio, featuring Johnson on bass and Satoshi Takeishi on drums.

She signed with Blue Note in 1989, and released her debut for the label, So Far So Close, the same year with a slew of guests. While most of her recordings have been instrumental, Elias introduced her soft but coarse vocals on her 1990 album Eliane Elias Plays Jobim, and has employed vocals on occasion ever since. Her 1995 album Solos and Duets featured a brilliantly executed duet with Herbie Hancock. In addition to working periodically with Toots Thielemans' Brasil Project, Elias has served as musical director for Gilberto Gil's group. While she continued to record for the rest of the '90s, it was 2000's Impulsive! that proved one of the largest surprises in her career as she collaborated with conductor and arranger Bob Brookmeyer leading the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra. In 2002 she left Blue Note for RCA's Bluebird label, where she debuted with Kissed by Nature, a primarily vocal album, and followed it up with the lovely Dreamer in 2004. Elias released Around the City in 2006, a collection of primarily vocal tracks that moved ever further into pop territory, covering music by Santana, Bob Marley, and even Beck. It was her final album for Bluebird.

She returned to Blue Note for 2007's Something for You: Elaine Elias Sings & Plays Bill Evans, fronting a trio with Johnson (who played with Evans) and drummer Joey Baron. In 2009, she issued what many have argued is her finest recording, Bossa Nova Stories, fully engaging her Brazilian heritage in bossa and samba and illustrating her singular jazz instincts as a pianist. In 2010, Savoy Records issued Timeless Eliane Elias, a compilation of tracks culled from her mid-'80s recordings Illusions and Cross Currents. In late 2010, Elias signed with Concord; in the late spring of 2011 she released Light My Fire, her debut set on the label. A year later, Elias paired with bassist Marc Johnson for the instrumental ECM date, Swept Away. In 2013, Elias paid homage to trumpeter/vocalist Chet Baker with I Thought About You: A Tribute to Chet Baker. ~ Craig Harris & Thom Jurek, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

very smooth singing
What a voice!!!!!!
If you love her you must listen to Tanya Maria....and then get back to me...
Simply Hot Hot Hot!!!!!
la bossa nova brasilera emolto bella
Latin women and latin music SEXY!!!
Oh so smooth, look for more from her, could listen to her all night
One of my favorites. I agree, similar to a Latin Krall. Great voice!
Elaine. Elias. ( Through. The. Fire. )
I. Grant. You , you. Have. Never
Never. Heard. Any. Song. Like. This
Check. It. Out. And. Let. Know.
Saw her at Birdland 2013, excellent show although I thought it was a bit short. I was sitting pretty close, she is also very sexy and dresses to show off her ample top. .
Love her sound
peihoustonmd v
Photoshop or not, she's HOT -both in looks and sound. She's a complete package!
she is heavily photoshopped . she's in her fifties. Come on! Ok, I'll start using photos from 2004 then if she is! lol But I do like her voice. Smooth, calming. Love that she hasn't ditched her Brazilian accent though she's lived her for years I think.
She sings this song beautifully and does sound like Dianna Krall.
She reminds me of Diana Krall. Could she have a sister? Hauntingly similar in style and voice quality.
sexy , beautiful , would love to meet her so she could sing to me !!!!!!!
mmmm-mmm She is Fine!
amfancy
Fantastic
Soft, sultry voice that's pitch perfect. But there's more, she sings it with feeling. Very beautiful.
voice like liquid, almost as good as Bebel
such a calming voice
Outstanding voice, fantastic piano and it ain't that easy, eh? Thanks for the good stuff you bring. I go way back with Sarah, Ella, Carmen and my sentimental fav, Connie Boswell. Love you
Una belleza Brazilera... . . . a Brizilian Beauty...... . S m o o t h . . . . . a n d sensual!!!
Saw a grand piano move on stage - literally - through the sheer power of Eliane playing it! I know it sounds unbelievable but it happened in the old Dakota Jazz Club in St. Paul. For my money, she is unsurpassed on the piano and coupled with that voice... there is no one I'd rather listen to more.
Picked up one her CD's at Good Will for a buck (best kept secret in town)! Pleasent enough but certainly no Diana Krall.
Soft & Sassy love her sultry voice!
smooth voice sultry
Tone -lovely as she is--what a gifted talented artist! Must catch her live!
Eliane Elias can call me anytime!
Nice to see her take on a Chicano Oldie Song! And make it her own!
corwolfna
Fabulous sound!
miss elias' interpretati o n of cole porter are easily some of the best.....
Hope she can get to New Hampshire. Would love to see her live
she can light my fire anytime...be a u t i f u l woman-beauti f u l music.
Just saw her perform in Hardwick.,MA . Unbelievable performance! Now I'm listening to her on Pandora.
victor503
Listen to the pieces she did with Steps Ahead in the Steps Ahead record (1983). You'are gonna change your religious beliefs!!!
clyderhythm
Eliane I loved the way you harmonized Through The Fire :) Brilliant!
patryce03
I love it..
albert.lazar
Too hot to listen to. Just fell in lust. Left the building.
justletmebre a t h e
Out of college, first apartment and first gift Eliane Elias Plays Jobim ... a great start. Thanks :-)
odyssey2
Amazing.
semajf
she is soooooo fantastic!!!
Superb musician, vocalist and great looks!
steckferr
This is one of my favorite artists. Such expression, such feeling. I like a woman's interpretati o n on the piano.
mooyoo.77
GREAT LOOKING(VOIC E )
I can't believe that after all of these years of thinking that I knew my music, I realize that I don't have a clue. Elaine is a marvelous musician with a smooth Brazilian bird like voice and the beauty to compare.
jazzygrl1015
Exceptional live! The way she plays that piano, definitely worth seeing live.
Thanks Pandora, never heard of her before. Another artist to collect music from!
bookerloud
Nice!
such a relaxing genre....lov e it..peace!!! ! !
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