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The music of Brazilian singer/songwriter/pianist Eliane Elias makes me feel like a little girl again. Not because her songs are fun and frivolous and playful, though. On the contrary, her music is ultra cool and sleekly sophisticated. But there is more than a hint of 60s lounge jazz in her style--and I mean that as a very high compliment. Put her CD “Kissed by Nature” in the player, and you’re immediately transported to a time when jazz had a lot of Latin influence, and female vocalists just oozed sultry, sensuous sounds. I listen to this collection, and I want to slip into some petal-pushers and an off-the-shoulder blouse, pour myself a martini, don some cat’s-eye sunglasses and stretch out on a chaise lounge on the patio.
At fifteen, Elias was already teaching piano at one of Brazil’s top music schools. By seventeen, she was performing and collaborating with songwriters and poets. In the early eighties, she moved to New York and began her recording career on the elite Blue Note Records label (though “Kissed by Nature” is an RCA release). These days, she has developed a style all her own, infused with her native Brazilian bossa nova, borrowing from other Latin rhythms, but always cool and jazzy at heart. All but one of the songs on this CD are original, and she sings in both English and Portuguese, which adds an even more exotic flavor to the numbers. Her voice is fluid, smooth and oh, so lovely. (Ignore the iTunes evaluation of her voice being “thin.” That’s just crazy talk.)
As I said, the CD has a wonderful retro feel to it, but it’s still very contemporary and in no way cheesy. It’s fabulous for preparing dinner, eating dinner, relaxing after dinner, and long, leisurely drives through town or country. And if you’re one for throwing cocktail parties, Eliane on the CD player is the only music you need.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some petal-pushers to don and a chaise lounge to unfold on the deck. (I’ll just ignore the pesky rain that’s predicted today.) Martinis are on me, everybody! Cheers!