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Straight No Chaser - A Jazz Show

Straight No Chaser is the place for jazz lovers (and those who will soon be jazz lovers) to enjoy podcasts with their favorite music and artists. Winner of the 2017 JazzTimes Readers' Poll for Best Podcast, your host Jeffrey Siegel will take you inside the world of jazz, from the new releases to the best festiva;s to remembrances of jazz legends.

Dec 5, 2012

Podcast 318 was part one of a two part conversation I had with Husband and Wife duo Marc Johnson and Eliane Elias (pictured). Ms. Elias, born in Brazil and now a tried and true New Yorker, takes the spotlight on their latest ECM release, Swept Away. Her playing alternately shimmers and then bounces along, always with great swaths of romanticism and playfulness. Her compositions give the couple plenty of room for melodic solos. The fact that the two are very much in love, but also hold one another in great respect as people and artists is obvious to the listener.

It has been almost thirty years since Ms. Elias, then a part of the fusion band Steps Ahead, made her recording debut. Since then, her discs as a leader have varied from Brazilian classics to Pop and Broadway covers to a moving tribute album to Bill Evans. Her last two works with Johnson, Shades of Jade and Swept Away, suggest she is on the verge of going to another level as a composer and performer.

Marc turned the interview over to Eliane, and we talked about working with a spouse, the difficulties of finding percussion players when recording Brazilian music and her plans for a new CD in 2013. Click here to listen to Podcast 319, which includes musical selections:

Marc Johnson/Eliane Elias – “Moments” from Swept Away. Check this one out for what I mean by Elias’ great romantic streak as a pianist.

Marc Johnson – “Blue Nefertiti” from Shades of Jade. A superb band  - Johnson (double bass); Joe Lovano (tenor saxophone); John Scofield (guitar); Elias (piano); Alain Mallet (organ); and Joey Baron (drums),  takes what sounds like the head from Wayne Shorter's classic “Nefertiti”  and does what great jazz musicians do with great material – create something new and exciting.

Eliane Elias – “How Insensitive” from Sings Jobim. Born in São Paulo, Eliane toured with Antonio Carlos Jobim’s song-writing partner Vinicius de Moraes when she was seventeen. She brings a special poignancy to Jobim tunes, particularly when she sings and plays.

Eliane Elias – “Chega de Saudade” from Bossa Nova Stories.  Another Jobim tune, featuring drummer Paulo Braga, to bring out the true sound of the Bossa Nova.