Eliane Elias

Dance Of Time
(Concord)

Pianist-singer Eliane Elias has been looking back to her Brazilian roots in recent years. Two years ago, she and husband Marc Johnson recorded the Grammy Award-winning Made In Brazil in her native São Paulo, and now Dance Of Time serves as a further meditation on her personal and musical journey. Early Brazilian mentors Amilton Godoy and Toquinho are present, as are her earliest American collaborators—former husband Randy Brecker and longtime musical partner Mike Mainieri. For musical touchpoints, Elias reflects on the 100th anniversary of “Pelo Telefone,” the first samba to be recorded, and also nods to Frank Sinatra’s 50-year-old collaboration with Jobim.

Elias continues to play and sing with a vigor that shows no sign of flagging. Her version of João Gilberto’s “O Pato” bursts out of the gate, showcasing Elias’ highly percussive piano. The guest appearances are exceptionally well integrated. Brecker’s flugelhorn provides a flickering echo of Elias’ voice on a grooving interpretation of “Speak Low” before launching into a lyrical solo over the choral accompaniment of guitarist Mark Kibble. Singer-guitarist Toquinho, who first took Elias on tour when she was 17, brings Dance Of Time to a gentle end, exchanging lines with her on a song he originally called “Eliane” but never finished. Now completed, the song closes a 40-year cycle and points toward the future.