The Three Americas? Only a pianist with the credentials of Eliane Elias could take on a project that combines the musical spirit of three distinctly separate but related Americas: North, Central and South, without resorting to clichés.
by Scott Adams
She explains in the liner notes: “My intention for this recording is not only to present some of the innumerable sounds and rhythms of North, Central and South America but also to capture the musical essence of each America and combine their various rhythms and sounds to beat as one heart.”
The Three Americas is her 11th studio album and was released by Blue Note Records in 1996 to rave reviews.
Josef Woodard reviewd the album for Entertainment Weekly, and he wrote:
“Brazilian-born jazz pianist Eliane Elias has lived in the States for nearly half her 37 years, and her impressive new album, The Three Americas, is a kind of homecoming, nodding to the Americas North, South, and Central. The concept flies. Elias ventures from the Brazilian turf of her infectious opener, ”An Up Dawn,” to a quasi-tango, ”Chorango,” to the urbane, New York-ish swagger of ”Jumping Fox,” all with her commanding touch.”
Scott Yanow of Allmusic reviewed The Three Americas, too:
“Two sides of Eliane Elias are on display on this CD. She is heard as an effective soft-toned singer of bossa nova and (particularly on the last few numbers) as a strong post-bop jazz pianist. The bossas (which often feature guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves and flutist Dave Valentin) are enjoyable, if a bit lightweight, and “Chorango” (which has Gil Goldstein on accordion and violinist Mark Feldman) is a modern tango. But it is as a pianist that Elias is most significant, and fortunately, there are enough instrumentals on this release to make it worth picking up by jazz listeners.”
Elias excels in her roles as performer, producer and composer, and her vocal debut on Jobim’s “Chega da Saudade” is warmly resplendent, reflecting the same qualities that her piano talents have shown for years.
Dave Valentin and Oscar Castro-Neves guest throughout these dozen acoustic tracks, ranging from solo settings to quartets draped with Elias’ smoothly tropical vocaleze.
And our ‘One Track’? Check below!
The Three Americas: Album Listing
- An Up Dawn
- The Time Is Now
- Chega de Saudade
- Crystal And Alce
- Brigas Nunca Mais
- Introduction To Guarani
- O Guarani
- Jungle Journey
- Missing You
- Jumping Fox