Swept Away

Marc Johnson, Eliane Elias

CD18,90 out of print

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.

Auf “Swept Away” kommuniziert ein Quartett aus Spitzenkönnern - Pianistin Eliane Elias, Bassist Marc Johnson, Drummer Joey Baron und Saxofonist Joe Lovano – durch Musik, die gleichermaßen einladend und sinnlich, lyrisch und voller Swing ist. Die in Brasilien geborene Elias hatte mit den ECM-Veteranen Baron und Lovano schon auf Johnsons 2005er ECM-Album „Shades of Jade“ gespielt, das allenthalben auf großes Lob stieß. Die New York Times berauschte sich an dem “kalten Leuchten”, das durch die enge Partnerschaft zwischen Elias und Johnson möglich werde, während The Village Voice fand, das Album sei “schimmernd”, habe aber “in seiner Üppigkeit auch allerhand Spannkraft.” Die gleichen Worte würden für “Swept Away” passen, das eine Handvoll melodiensatter Elias-Kompositionen enthält, vom entspannt fließenden Titelstück über den urbanen Romantizismus von “Be Is for Butterfly” und “It’s Time” mit seiner After-Hours-Atmosphäre. Ein weiteres Highlight ist Marc Johnsons fröhlich groovendes, östlich angehauchtes “When The Sun Comes Up”; mit Johnsons Solo-Fassung des alten amerikanischen Folksongs “Shenandoah” schließt das Album.
Featured Artists Recorded

February 2010, Avatar Studios, New York

Original Release Date


  • 1Swept Away
    (Eliane Elias)
  • 2It's Time
    (Eliane Elias)
  • 3One Thousand And One Nights
    (Eliane Elias)
  • 4When The Sun Comes Up
    (Marc Johnson)
  • 5B Is For Butterfly
    (Eliane Elias)
  • 6Midnight Blue
    (Marc Johnson)
  • 7Moments
    (Eliane Elias)
  • 8Sirens Of Titan
    (Eliane Elias, Marc Johnson)
  • 9Foujita
    (Marc Johnson)
  • 10Inside Her Old Music Box
    (Eliane Elias, Marc Johnson)
  • 11Shenandoah
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.”

As they often do in conversation, Johnson and Elias sometimes complete each other’s thoughts in composition. They co-wrote “Sirens of Titan” and “Inside Her Old Music Box,” and with Johnson’s “When the Sun Comes Up,” Elias’s piano adds colour and richness to the harmonies implied by his haunting melody and bass line. In the bassist’s piece “Foujita,” the impressionistic quality of the Japanese painter, after whom it’s titled, is brought to life by Elias’s touch, voicings and phrasing. Although born in very different places – the American Midwest and Brazil’s biggest city – the two grew up loving some of the same music, including the lyrical strains of Bill Evans. Johnson and Elias have been making music together since the late ’80s, developing a deep affinity and understanding. “Listeners who hear us play often assume that everything is all worked out in advance,” the pianist says, “but it’s just that we feel time and harmony together.”