Monday, June 3, 2013

Eliane Honors Chet; Blanchard's Magnetic - Bob Stewart

There's no question about it: pianist/vocalist Eliane Elias is amazingly versatile. Her new CD -- "I Thought About You: a Tribute to Chet Baker" -- offers her personalized spin on the work of a key American jazz artist while spotlighting her connection to the singer-instrumentalist tradition. Long known for her native feel of Brazilian music, the new disc demonstrates Eliane's expertise in yet another realm: an interpreter of American standards. By and large, she has turned to pieces from the Great American Songbook that have been associated with the trumpeter. "When selecting the repertoire, I chose songs that portrayed a wide spectrum of Chet's work," she says, "not only ballads for which he was best known, but also the mid-tempo and up-tempo pieces he performed with such fluidity and inventiveness throughout his career."
"Magnetic" is trumpeter Terence Blanchard's first release in four years and marks his return to Blue Note Records after six years away. The vast array of approaches undertaken by his ensemble throughout the disc is striking, from blistering bop to fragile ballads to psychedelic electronic haze. It marks yet another genre-defying chapter in this innovative musician and film composer's life-only to be followed in mid-June by the world premiere of "Champion: An Opera in Jazz," based on the story of the boxing champion Emile Griffith for which Blanchard combines forces with Opera Theater of St. Louis and Jazz St. Louis.

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