Released August 30, 2019.
Love Stories is an orchestral album, revealing Elias’ mastery and preeminence as a multifaceted artist – a vocalist, pianist, arranger, composer, lyricist and producer. Sung almost entirely in English, the album features three original compositions plus seven superb arrangements of pieces from bossa nova’s golden age, including songs made famous by Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim.
As both an interpreter and composer, Elias inhabits the rich tradition of bossa while bringing the music into the present. She infuses familiar songs with unexpected twists that intensify the music’s evocative power – whether by creating harmonic modulations that enhance a lyric or shifting the rhythmic feel of a section to heighten its emotion – allowing the subtle complexities of her voice to take centerstage, all the while.
Noting that romantic love is just one of a wide range of ways the emotion gets manifested, Elias says, “The idea for this album was to bring to life various stories of love and loving through this collection of songs.”
As she tells those stories, Elias brings a depth of feeling to the album that comes courtesy of her evocative approach as a pianist and singer as well as the precision with which she’s able to execute her musical vision.
“From the moment of conception, it couldn’t be more integrated,” she explains. “From the first note that’s chosen, every color I create in the arrangements, the modulations, the choice of keys, the small group arranging, the possibilities for orchestra – it’s as deep into my personal taste as it can go…because I’m envisioning the arrangement; deciding how to convey the song and perform it with the band, and being mindful of the future orchestrations all at once.”
For the album, Elias invited some of her favorite Brazilian rhythm section players to join her – Marcus Texiera on guitar and Edu Ribeiro, Rafael Barata and Celso Almeida on drums – plus her core collaborators, co-producer and bassist Marc Johnson and co-producer Steve Rodby. Orchestrator Rob Mathes returns for his fourth recording with Elias as well, bringing his lush string arrangements into flawless sync with Elias’ rich harmonic and varied rhythmic approaches, as he did on her GRAMMY Award-winning 2015 album, Made in Brazil.
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