Customer Review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Straight Ahead Elias., 14 July 2013
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This review is from: I Thought About You (A Tribute To Chet Baker) (Audio CD)
This album is a follow up to Light My Fire, but while maintaining many of the same personnel as that album, it sounds quite different.

"Light my Fire" was very much Brazilian-influenced in terms of rhythms and no surprise there, as Eliane Elias comes from that country. But she also has the Jazz pedigree that comes from playing in some of the top Jazz groups like "Steps Ahead" and with some of America's best Jazz musicians - like Randy Brecker who guests here, on trumpet.

This is billed as a tribute to Chet Baker, but to my ears doesn't really sound like most of the music with which he was involved. Instead, it seems to be an album of Jazz standards sung by Elias - in a recent interview with Jazzwise magasine, she explains how it feels that she can sing these standards now - whereas previously she wasn't ready to tackle material from the "Great American Songbook".

There was of course, a part of Chet Baker's career, where he sang these songs - but he also did so many other things - like the piano-less quartet with Gerry Mulligan and the whole West Coast Cool school of Jazz.

Chet Baker was a really good Jazz trumpet player who could also sing - and maybe you can say something similar about Eliane Elias. She is a very good Jazz pianist who can also sing. In both cases the singing and the image is more "marketable" than the Jazz expertise.

But here the playing is probably the better suit - all the musicians provide excellent and subtle support - especially husband Marc Johnson on Double Bass. While Elias's singing is perfectly good, it's the solos which light up the tunes and which give the interest to this album.

A high quality set of Jazz standards that is very different from previous albums, but still brings all the skills of the players to the fore.
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