A spirit of history in the making was in the air that glorious Thursday evening of September 15th, 2011.
Hosted by "The Movable Feast" presented by the Jazz Bakery with Founder and Jazz vocalist in her own rite, Ruth Price. The Jazz Bakery is a Non-Profit Organization committed to providing excellence in Jazz performers since its founding in 1992 by Ms. Price.
The program took place at the Colburn School of Music - Zipper Hall in Los Angeles, an acoustically perfect venue.
For me to say it was a summer serenade would be an understatement for the journey audience members were graciously taken on by sovereign sister of Piano and Vocals in Jazz and Brazilian music - Elaine Elias.
Ms. Elias appeared on stage with her warm, inviting smile and sat down at the Piano. Ahh... the magic began as the barefoot Elaine dazzled us while tapping her bare foot dressed in an ankle gold chain.
Eliane had her incredible ensemble sharing novel approaches to beloved Brazilian and Jazz tunes that have stood the test of time and some of her own compositions that need no interpretation.
Eliane Elias - Piano/Vocals
Marc Johnson - Electric Upright Bass
Rubens de la Corte - Guitar
Rafael Barata - Drums/Percussion
Elaine’s infectious approach began with "Por Causa De Voce"/"Don’t Ever Go Away" tenderly and tantalizingly taking us into a place with Drums and Piano. She even provided a "call & answer" to herself during the beautiful piece.
"Samba Maracatu/Turn to Me" from her latest CD was filled with a joyful groove with amazing interaction between Drums, Bass, Guitar and Piano. The love exchanged between Eliane and other musicians' was a soulful union that radiated from their countenance. It beckon you inside that same space with Eliane, Marc, Ruben, and Rafael.
"Chega de Saudade" was shared with lots of sass and percussive sync and Elaine’s fingers glided across the ebony and ivory keys with an absolute sensation. Her solos and sense of Jazz form will make you speechless. What a thrilling call and answer between Elaine and Rafael on Percussion and Drums! Giving cause for more call and response and a hearty Amen!!
Mr. Barata had everyone in a mesmerizing vigilance as he teased and pleased us with percussive delights making melody and harmony from steadily soft to intricately syncopated with the mode of intertwining thunder and delicacy.
Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Desafinado" was another wonderful tune displaying Elaine's beautiful gift. Marc and Elaine share a remarkable union on Marc's solo during this exquisite piece. Ruben de la Corta added marvelous seasoning to the tasty musical serving.
Ms. Elaine gave respect and the highest regards to Antonio Carlos Jobim during the evening as a pioneer and one that always inspired her. Ms. Elias has had the distinguished honor of performing on the same stage with Mr. Jobim.
"Isto Aqui O Que E" (Silver Sandal) was filled with delightful accents and movement and once again the interaction between Elaine and the rhythm was magnificent. Her technique is filled elegance and energy. The audience was dusted with such on "So Danca Samba".
Ms. Elias came out to dance and sing on some of her tunes and "So Danca Samba" proved a soulful rhythmic and smiling correlation for Ruben on Guitar and Eliane.
Elaine pronounced "Eh-lee-ah-neh" gave us a stroll in total elation with her most exciting and creative version of "Light My Fire" This song was originally composed by Robbie Krieger from the group known as "The Doors". It is said Mr. Krieger wrote this with Jim Morrison, Guitarist and Ray Manzarek, Organ adding verses.
Elaine and Marc literally astounded the crowd with their interpretation. Elaine very sweetly explained it as, "Catching the Fire".
The beginning is a cool, soothing, sensual saunter in the gentle breeze slowly turning to a Bopish palpitates correlated with Straight Ahead shouts combined in Bass accents and chilling runs by Elaine that made it nearly impossible to remain seated. I have no words to describe the euphoria...and no, "we couldn't get much higher" than where Elaine and Marc took us on "Light My Fire". I'm still trying earnestly to "Catch it"
I have heard many, many versions of this piece. The Bass solo Mr. Johnson laid before us was filled with so much exclusive passion. It swept you right in the middle of it.
Elaine's musicality was infinite throughout the entire piece but her incredible amalgamation with Marc on this one said it all.
Many other gorgeous tunes were presented on our miraculous musical flight that night. "Horizonte" equaling splendor at dusk "Samba Triste" and "The Girl from Ipenema" presenting an unperturbed intensity with giving elation with every note, phrase, solo, call and response ever embraced in Elaine, Marc, Rafael, and Ruben.
The audience was rewarded with 2 encores that night 1 with Ms. Elias, the Ivory and Ebony Keys, and audience displaying her glorious virtuosity. God breathed on her hands at creation twice with life and love; and with an endowment beyond measure.
This was a night to go down in Jazz history.