Throughout her career, Eliane Elias has delivered a steady stream of sophisticated, smartly conceived albums showcasing her adroit piano skills and delicate vocal style. Her 2015 effort, Made in Brasil, is no exception and finds her celebrating her Brazilian heritage with a handful of adeptly produced Bossa Nova and jazz songs. Once again working with longtime collaborators, producer Steve Rodby and husband/producer/bassist Marc Johnson, Elias continues to forge her own niche on Made in Brasil, combining jazz, both contemporary and straight-ahead, with her longstanding love of traditional and modern Brazilian styles of music. On her previous album, 2013's I Thought About You: A Tribute to Chet Baker, Elias stuck primarily to jazz standards of the '30s and '40s. Here, she flows easily between classic Bossa Nova songs by such legends as Antonio Carlos Jobim and Ary Barroso, as well as her own original compositions. Along with acoustic bassist Johnson, backing Elias here are electric bassist Marcelo Mariano, guitarist Marcus Teixeira, guitarist/vocalist Roberto Menescal, drummers Edu Barata and Rafael Barata, and percussionist Marivaldo dos Santos. Also showcased on this vocal-heavy album are singers Mark Kibble, Ed Motta, Amanda Brecker (Elias' daughter), and the vocal ensemble Take 6. Ultimately, as with most of Made in Brasil, tracks like "Aguas de Marco (Waters of March)" w/Take 6, "Incendiando," and "Vida (If Not You)," featuring a soulful performance from Motta, are sophisticated, lushly produced cuts that straddle the line between crisp Bossa Nova, sultry contemporary R&B, and glossy crossover jazz.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar