Friday, April 10, 2009
Eliane Elias is Beautiful
Back when I was still buying classical music (the only good musician is a dead musician) I noticed something. There were a lot of women recording great music, but to judge from the CD covers they were all of them drop dead gorgeous. Anne Sophie Mutter comes to mind. Now I had to ask myself: what are the odds that musical talent always coincides with physical attractiveness?
Not great, I had to admit. I am guessing that a lot of women "showed promise" because their male teachers liked to look at them. That probably means that a lot of talented women didn't get their shot because they weren't cover girls. If I'm right about this, it represents a loss of talent across the genres. Just look at the Country Music section of your local Wal Mart and see what you see.
This is one of the injustices of life. Let's face it, most jazz geniuses are not pretty. Eric Dolphy weren't no Brad Pitt. For men it doesn't seem to matter. It shouldn't matter at all. But I suspect it does. Diana Krall has a great voice, but she also looks good on the cover.
A recent acquisition brought this to my attention. Eliane Elias is a fine piano player, to judge by her recording Impulsive! To judge by her website photos, she could have been a Victoria's Secret model. But she is also a very fine jazz pianist. Life is not always unfair.
The album was arranged by Bob Brookmeyer, and has an orchestra behind the two. Brookmeyer plays the valve trombone, an unusual and very strange instrument. He is worth listening to in any venue. But the star of the show here is Elias' piano. You can get her story at the Jazz.Com Encyclopeida. I find her fingers on the keys delicious. We ought to be hearing more of her.
Here is a sample.