Pasa Tem­pos

Mu­sic by Ry­ley Walker and Eliane Elias

Pasatiempo - - NEWS -

RY­LEY WALKER Prim­rose Green (Dead Oceans) Illi­nois-born gui­tar pro­tégé Ry­ley Walker seems to chan­nel some of the most cleareyed and won­drous mu­sic of the 1960s — from Van Mor­ri­son at his most sun-dap­pled to Tim Buck­ley athis most pas­toral — and present it to mod­ern au­di­ences. Even his al­bum cov­ers look as if they could be found in the back cor­ners of used-vinyl bins. He sur­rounds him­self with a crack team of mu­si­cians that leans his folk to­ward jazz­ier di­rec­tions. Songs like “Sum­mer Dress” em­brace the mix of up­right bass, cym­bal-heavy back­beat, and vi­bra­phone from 1970s fu­sion as he re­peats “feel in,” in the phrase “feelin’ all right,” un­til it de­parts for deliri­ous realms. “On the Banks of the Old Kish­wau­kee” finds him rid­ing a Townes Van Zandt kind of groove straight into Jerry Garcia ter­ri­tory and back again. This kind of vir­tu­os­ity keeps Walker from fall­ing into the cur­rent wave of stoner rock as ex­em­pli­fied by artists such as Kurt Vile, and that Walker can ac­tu­ally sing is his ul­ti­mate trump card. The stuff he sings about can at times fall into hip­pie-dip­pie clichés, but he can also find gold. In “All Kinds of You,” he sings, “There’s all kinds of you run­ning through my mind,” and then, in the next verse, “There’s all kinds of me run­ning far be­hind.” He’s so steeped in the past that train sta­tions fig­ure heav­ily in this song. What else would we ex­pect from this tal­ented genre hop­per? —Robert Ker

ELIANE ELIAS Made in Brazil (Con­cord Jazz) This al­bum rep­re­sents a home­com­ing of sorts, be­cause it’s the first record­ing Eliane Elias has made in Brazil since she came to the United States 34 years ago. It fol­lows 2012’s Swept Away, an in­stru­men­tal ses­sion with Joe Lo­vano, Marc John­son, and Joey Baron, and 2013’s I Thought About You: A Trib­ute to Chet Baker. This new disc is full of vo­cals by the leader and sev­eral guests, among them Brazil­ian R& B star Ed Motta and Elias’ daugh­ter, Amanda Brecker — but that em­pha­sis re­gret­tably leaves fewer show­cases for the leader’s won­der­ful pi­ano work. Tan­ta­liz­ing Brazil­ian fla­vors are im­me­di­ately at the fore in the Ary Bar­roso an­them “Brasil (Aquarela do Brasil),” Mar­cus Teix­eira’s rhyth­mic gui­tar and Elias’ soft vo­cals swad­dled by soar­ing or­ches­tra­tion. “Você,” the first of two An­tônio Car­los Jobim pieces cov­ered by Elias, is slow and sul­try, fea­tur­ing Roberto Me­nescal on gui­tar. The vo­cal sex­tet Take 6 adds beau­ti­ful har­monies on “Águas de Março (Wa­ters of March).” A so­phis­ti­cated, softly an­gu­lar key­board fig­ure opens “Driv­ing Am­bi­tion,” a high­light on this lush, bright al­bum and one of three songs on which Elias shares vo­cals with Mark Kib­ble. Her other col­lab­o­ra­tors on Made in Brazil in­clude bassists Marc John­son and Marcelo Mar­i­ano and four drum­mers and per­cus­sion­ists. The fi­nal song is “No Tab­uleiro da Ba­iana,” which was fa­mously pop­u­lar­ized in 1936 by Car­men Mi­randa, and which (fi­nally) yields some sprightly pi­ano by Elias. — Paul Wei­de­man

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