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Around The City
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However, the question here is not rather or not it fits the narrow-minded view of jazz purists, but is a good LP? Here the answer is yes.
While the title track & "Oye Como Va" may have to grow on me, the rest of the CD is great. Try listening to "Running" or her version of Bob Marley's "Jamming" without moving your head or getting up to dance.
Elaine is also writing more, as she wrote or co-wrote many of the songs on this disc. She's still showing off her chows as a jazz pianist & there's still lots of brazilian jazz/bossa nova present (& even flamenco-favors with "Slide Show").
Bottom line, the purists should go elsewhere if they want nothing but standards, but the rest of us will enjoy this disc.
Breaking boundaries doesn't by itself automatically equate with true innovation or quality.
The fields of jazz are littered with failed attempts to break boundaries. The reason we don't hear them that often is that they've been buried in the cosmic bit bucket where they belong. After all, when was the last time you heard the Duke Ellington and Count Basie tributes to the Beatles? Or Stan Getz playing "Marrakesh Express." Or, for that matter, Paul McCartney as a symphonist. Indisputably great artists making ill-advised choices in an attempt to widen their audiences, or to be taken more seriously, or whatever.
There's no question that Eliane is breaking out and exploring new avenues on this album. Some of the reviewers have made the dubious claim that because it's different, it's automatically better. They also make the claim that the reason her loyal fans hate it is because they're just old squares who can't keep up with an artist who's outgrowing them.
The thing is, in order for the new stuff to be an improvement, it would actually have to BE better.
Some of the stuff that Eliane sings and plays on this album is just junk, most notably the title cut. Some of the album is quite good.
To separate the good from the bad, you simply have to perform the 'Lester Test.' Look at the liner notes, and wherever you see the name Lester Mendez, that cut's probably bad. Wherever his name is missing, that cut's probably good.
The 'Lester' tunes are all reaching for pop breakthrough, mostly at the expense of those things that make Eliane great. It's as though she checked her own judgment (which is impeccable) at the door for those sessions, and let Lester and the whole star-making pop music machinery run the show.Read more ›
August 14, 2006
Eliane Elias - Around The City
Producers: Eliane Elias, Andres Levin, Lester Mendez
Release date: Aug 22
On "Around The City", pianist Elias assigns the keys a back seat in support of her alluring, sensuous vocals sung in English and Portuguese. The Brazil-born, New York-based Elias has played the singer card before in her 18-album career, but nothing like this outing, where she delivers a spellbinding meld of pop, Brazillian and Latin music with a jazz sensibility. Her pianistic excursions arrive sporadically and deeper into the 13-song collection, including a fine run in "A Vizinha Do Lado". But upfront is where "Around The City" enraptures, beginning with the spirited original "Running", and continuing with a bossa-steeped take on Tito Puente's "Oye Como Va" and later a sultry swing through Beck's "Tropicalia". Standout track: Elias' jazzy spin on Bob Marley's "Jammin'" with loops, trumpet ornamentation and a piano sprint, all girded to earth with speedy grooves by two drummers.
EALIAS "AROUND THE CITY " IA SUCH A GREAT GROUP ON SONGS , LIKE ALL ELAINS CDS THEY ARE A JOY TO LISTON TO
NOT OFFEN TO THE JAZZ NUT LIKEMY SELFGET TO HEAR A GREAT VOICE AN A LADY OR FOR THAT MATTER A PIANO PALY
WITH THE STYLE THAT THIS WOMNE HAS;. I HAVE FOR MOST OF MY LIFE GOEN TO HUNDRED OF JAZZ CLUBS IN I HOPE
BEFORE "I LEAVE THE ROOM" AS THE GREAT JOHN COLTRANE SAID, I GET TO SEE THIS GREAT TALENT MS ELIAS T.REED
Ironically, what stodgy jazz connoisseurs regale as their iconic figure, Miles Davis, repeatedly broke the rules and courted many different music forms to make the continuum that is the heart of jazz pulse and breathe. Elaine Elias does just this. Those of us who love and listen to the so-called "hip" clubby/lounge music will truly appreciate the sonic adventure within "Around The City." Club music often samples other people's music passages into loops that- though stylish sounding- tends to entropy into banality. One has always wondered how the form could jettison in capable hands of great dexterity. Elias's reading of Bob Marley's "Jammin'" realizes this, with a momentum that sounds like a fluid updated sequel to Mile Davis's Milestone. It's fast, infectious, and reminiscent of the gyroscopic tension that Bebop was remembered for.
The track that is the pearl of the album however, is the stately "Slideshow." How wonderfully it captures what I call that Brazilian "Certain Sadness" that Astrud Gilberto's voice has come to embody. The lyrics are beautiful and the flamenco guitars and handclaps are gorgeous.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cannot stop playing this CD it just grabs you can't explain what it is!Published 13 months ago by Timocpa
Great new CD from Eliane Elias, don't know why I took so long to pick this one up. many nice tunes on the album. Another winner.Published 15 months ago by PM Blues
Eliane Elias album "Around the City" doesn't disappoints. Her jazz is from her home land Brazil and she never stops making you rock!Published 17 months ago by Marcy
Love her sound! This album is nice. The whole damn thing!! SMH.
This is a reissue! Yes, of a 2006 album! And badly done, no liner notes or information of any kind. Just the track listing, her name, and the album title. Read morePublished 20 months ago by David L. Potts
I have enjoyed Eliane Elias since around the mid 1990's. On some of her cd's she does some instrumentals on the piano and does some vocals on the other songs. Read morePublished on December 6, 2013 by dld