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Kissed By Nature by Eliane Elias

You need a cocktail, preferably one with rum and umbrellas and served up in a tiki head glass. Not convinced? Put on the latest release from Eliane Elias, the NYC based Brazilian pianist and chanteuse, and see if you don't come around to my way of thinking. Kissed By Nature is a pleasant collection of crossover jazz/pop songs, mostly written by Elias and recorded an impressive group of musicians including drummer Joey Baron and longtime partners trumpeter Randy Brecker and bassist Marc Johnson.

Though the music on this particular recording does not go out of its way to emphasize it, Elias is an truly outstanding pianist. But the songs come first here, and the chops second. Listen carefully, though, and you will hear some tasty fills on tracks like the title cut and "Balance," while a medley of songs by Brazilian songwriter Djavan is highlighted by her excellent piano solo and Brecker's striking trumpet playing weaves its way through "October."

As a singer Elias is less of a virtuoso, but nonetheless appealing. Her voice has a soft charm singing in both English and Portugese; "Perrere" showcases her talent at vocalese. The CD closes with two remixes. I suppose they are good if you like that sort of thing--I could do without it, myself.

This is an album of beautiful music. Never overwhelming, Kissed By Nature gives you back what you put into it as a listener. With its soft, romantic tone, I'd recommend it for those moments spent alone with the one you love (or, perhaps, would like to), with the caveat that you might find yourself getting too entranced by all that's going on beneath the surface of these tunes for the purpose at hand. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the bar....

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Eliane Elias
  • CD Title: Kissed By Nature
  • Genre: Brazilian Jazz / Brazilian Pop Jazz
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: BMG Music
  • Musicians: Eliane Elias - Piano, vocals, Marc Johnson- Bass, Joey Baron- Drums, Percussion, Paulo Bragg - Drums, Percussion, Randy Brecker- Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Rick Margitza- Tenor Sax, Paulo Andre Taveres - Guitar.
  • Rating: Three Stars
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