By Kerilie McDowall | Published September 2019
Life’s luxurious moments offer sweet comfort. And Eliane Elias’ Love Stories is an example of such splendor.
Elias’ romantic delivery invites the listener to delve into her timeless grace and sophisticated presence as a commanding vocalist and pianist, the bandleader’s stately arrangements enhanced by a majestic string orchestra conducted by Rob Mathes. Standards, Brazilian classics and three originals are locked in with a laid-back ease, supportive of the bandleader’s soothing vocals and seemingly effortless musings on piano.
Celebrating tales of mystique, “A Man And A Woman” sets up a seductive balance, Elias’ lush vocals complemented by her masterful arranging and perfectly executed improvisation. Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Bonita” showcases her breezy, mellow vocal bliss with flawless piano, and celebrating love, Elias’ lyric is entwined with her husband, co-producer and collaborator, bassist Marc Johnson. Gentle bossa nova from the impressive Brazilian rhythm section resurfaces on the bandleader’s “The Simplest Things” and “The View,” while erotic lyrics from the latter explore the suggestive imagery of a woman teasingly rolling down her stocking. Flowing, dreamy ballad “Silence” finds the bandleader pondering love’s nuances.
Elias’ intoxicating vocals emote the ambient calm of a forest after a soft rain; her vibrancy is a force unto itself. With powerful artistry, her naturally prodigious talent is even stronger as the years pass—a feat capable only by the true elites of the music world.
Love Stories: A Man And A Woman; Baby Come To Me; Bonita; Angel Eyes; Come Fly With Me; The Simplest Things; Silence; Little Boat; The View. (43:39)
Personnel: Eliane Elias, vocals, piano; Marc Johnson, bass; Marcus Teixeira, Daniel Santiago (2), Roberto Menescal (8), guitar; Edu Ribeiro, Rafael Barata (5, 8), Paulo Braga (4), Celso De Almeida (6), drums; Mark Kibble (2), vocals.