Swept Away sees the top-class quartet of pianist Eliane Elias, double-bassist Marc Johnson, drummer Joey Baron and saxophonist Joe Lovano commune over music that is engaging and sensual, lyrical and swinging. There is also a spacious feel to the album which stems from the environment in which much of it was written, the home Johnson and Elias share in the Hamptons, New York. Johnson says: "There is definitely a feeling of quietude there that is inspiring for us. Nature is closer, and you can really see the changing of seasons. I think you can hear it in the music's openness and lyricism."
Brazilian-born Eliane Elias previously joined ECM veterans Baron and Lovano on Johnson's 2005 ECM album, Shades of Jade, which reaped praise far and wide. The New York Times enthused over the "luminescence" created by the close partnership between Elias and Johnson, while The Village Voice said the album was "shimmering" yet its "lusciousness has all sorts of tensile strength."
The same words suit Swept Away, which includes a brace of melody-rich Elias compositions, ranging from the easy-flowing title track to the smoky romanticism of 'Be Is for Butterfly' and after-hours atmosphere of 'It's Time'. Johnson's brightly grooving, Eastern-tinged 'When the Sun Comes Up' is another highlight, and the album closes with Johnson's solo bass treatment of the old American folk song 'Shenandoah'. Swept Away is music of depth that is disarmingly easy to love.
Personnel: Eliane Elias (piano), Marc Johnson (double-bass), Joey Baron (drums), Joe Lovano (tenor saxophone)
ECM 2168; ECM RECORDS - Germania; Pop Jazz