Eliane Elias Dreamer whispers a cool tropical breeze full of
chilled out Brazilian bossa novas and two new originals. This time around, Elias
stellar piano chops take a back seat to her vocal stylings, but only to allow
a full orchestra to support and augment Elias rich tone and tender melodies.
massages you out of your work cubicle and gently sets you down in a comfy, shady
lounge flanked by island palm trees. For a moment, it makes that nasty little
computer mouse feel like you are cupping coconut rum on holiday. It can ease
you through monotonous tasks at work, just as it can gel a Saturday night cocktail
The album opens with two sweet bossas including Tony Hatchs "Call
Me" and "Baubles, Bangles and Beads," produced by the collective
efforts of Borodin, Forrest, and Wright. With Michael Brecker on tenor sax,
Dreamer harkens back to the cool bossa flavor of Stan Getz, Antonio Carlos
Jobim, and Gilberto. Mind you, this is the smoother side of Brecker, but it
works in the context.
The album carries on with some gospel joy on "Movin Me On,"
an Eliane Elias original, but then settles back into the bossa vibe with the
classic "So Nice-Samba de Verao." As the album progresses, we get
to hear Elias stretching out on the piano keys more and more, especially on
Mercer and Schertzingers "Tangerine."
Dreamer is consistent. Consistently sassy, sumptuous, and sinuous. The lush
string progressions, light guitar syncopations, and tasteful drum work of Paulo
Braga nestle you into a bed of flower petals. This sweet gentility comes out
of the "vulnerability that is shared between an artist and the audience
when delivering a lyric honestly and purely from the heart," says Elias.
She did so by choosing songs very close to her heart. By choosing both American
and Brazilian compositions, the selections reflect a lifetime split between
the two countries. She expertly merges this dichotomy by stringing together
a seamless set of ear-pleasing, soul-easing tracks.
As one of the foremost interpreters of Antonio Carlos Jobims music, Elias
delivers a steady sultriness akin to the champion of bossa nova without overstating
their similarities. She parallels his efforts and collaborations while being
sure not to mirror his interpretations exactly. Dreamer makes a personal
statement while paying subtle homage to the musicians that came before her.
For instance, the first chorus of Dorival Caymmi and Antonio Almeidas
"Doralice" has her playing transcriptions of Stan Getzs saxophone
This is a sexy, seductive album that might even slip into rotation when youre
logging time under the covers. Like a smooth Chardonnay, Dreamer goes
down the hatchet with ease.
On "Dreamer- Vivo Sonhando," the title cut, Elias captures the melodic
romanticism of Jobim, whom she dubs "the father of Brazilian standards."
If Jobim is the father of Brazilian music, then he would be quite proud to have
works like Dreamer taking after his offspring.