Swept Away Marc Johnson & Eliane Elias
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- 1Swept Away06:18
- 2It's Time05:50
- 3One Thousand and One Nights08:16
- 4When the Sun Comes Up06:35
- 5B Is for Butterfly08:05
- 6Midnight Blue06:01
- 8Sirens of Titan05:53
- 10Inside Her Old Music Box05:29
Info for Swept Away
Swept Away sees the top-class quartet of pianist Eliane Elias, double bassist Marc Johnson, drummer Joey Baron and saxophonist Joe Lovano commune over music that is engaging and sensual, lyrical and swinging. Brazilian-born Elias previously joined ECM veterans Baron and Lovano on Johnson’s 2005 ECM album, Shades of Jade, which reaped praise far and wide. The New York Times enthused over the “luminescence” created by the close partnership between Elias and Johnson, while The Village Voice said the album was “shimmering” yet its “lusciousness has all sorts of tensile strength.” The same words suit Swept Away, which includes a brace of melody-rich Elias compositions, ranging from the easy-flowing title track to the smoky romanticism of “Be Is for Butterfly” and after-hours atmosphere of “It’s Time”. Johnson’s brightly grooving, Eastern-tinged “When the Sun Comes Up” is another highlight, and the album closes with Johnson’s solo bass treatment of the old American folk song “Shenandoah”. Swept Away is music of depth that is disarmingly easy to love.
Double bassist Marc Johnson, pianist Eliane Elias, drummer Joey Baron and saxophonist Joe Lovano commune in music-making that is engaging, sensuous, poetic, and swinging. There is also a spacious feel to “Swept Away” which stems from the environment in which much of it was written, the home Johnson and Elias share in the Hamptons, New York. “I’ve written music in the bustle of Manhattan, on airplanes, every hectic sort of place,” Elias says. “But we have a very different sort of relationship to sound out there, one that finds its way into the feel of the writing.” Johnson adds: “There is definitely a feeling of quietude and space there that is inspiring for us. Nature is closer, and you can really see the changing of seasons. I think you can hear it in the music’s openness and lyricism.”
The album emphasises melody-rich Elias compositions, ranging from the easy-flowing lyricism of “B Is for Butterfly” to the romanticism of “Moments” .Elias’s rocking, Eastern-tinged “One Thousand and One Nights” is a highlight, as is Johnson’s evocation of after-hours atmosphere, “Midnight Blue.” The album closes with the bassist’s solo treatment of the old American folk song “Shenandoah,” a poignant remembrance of his family from the Midwest.
On their own, Elias, Johnson and Baron constitute a working piano trio, having recorded together live and in the studio. Throughout the album, bassist and drummer demonstrate a kindred-spirit feel, the pair having known each other since the early ’80s. “Joey and I share a lot of the same references and rhythmic sensibilities,” Johnson says. “I love the impetus he gives the music, how swinging he is, how creative.” Marc points out that in “When the Sun Comes Up,” he anchors the quarter-note pulse while “it is Joey giving shape to the music, bobbing and weaving along with Lovano but never losing that beautiful sense of implied time.”
Lovano enters with the second track, the blue-hued, valedictory-feeling “It’s Time.” Elias’s tribute to the late Michael Brecker. The pianist played with Brecker at the start of her career, when she was a member of Steps Ahead, and he worked with her on several projects afterward.
Marc Johnson first met Lovano in the late-’70s Woody Herman band. “Joe has such a beautiful sound and is a consummate improviser, a player who is so quick to suss out the essence of a tune. He is amazing at portraying the character of a composition in his improvisations.” Elias adds: “As a composer, it’s very satisfying the way that Joe incorporates a melody of a piece into his improvisations and shapes it. And we had some special experiences playing on Shades of Jade and again on this album. On `Moments,’ he and I even improvised the same exact phrase at the same time, as if we were following a score.”
Eliane Elias, piano
Marc Johnson, double bass
Joey Baron, drums
Joe Lovano, tenor saxophone
Recorded February 2010 Avatar Studios, New York
Engineer: Joe Ferla
Assistant: Rick Kwan
Mixed by Joe Ferla
Assistant: Bret Mayer
Produced by Eliane Elias and Marc Johnson
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