This album has special meaning to me. It’s the first jazz record that I clearly remember blowing my mind. And I mean to bits. You may remember this story from a previous post. As a young kid who was pretty good at the drums, but not quite understanding the breadth of the listening aspect, I had a teacher who started laying all kinds of records on me. Each week he would give me a list of albums to check out, and one of the first ones I picked up (from Columbia House, thank you very much) was Eliane Elias Plays Jobim. The second I hit play on this record I thought, “What the hell is happening?!”
One of my favorite things about the playing on this whole record, and in much of Jack D’s stuff in general, is the connection between his limbs. No one limb is carrying the groove while the others comp. Rather, the time, feel, and comping come equally from all four limbs at the exact same time, which is what initially blew me away about it, and still does for that matter.
There is a lot of great practice material in here for developing your own sound, but I wouldn’t recommend trying to take the individual limbs apart as they are so connected, and each voice really relies on the other. Instead, think of each measure as an exercise in itself. Take the ones that you find particularly tasty and loop them until they’re comfortable. Swap them around in different orders. Mix part of one bar with part of another. Once you’re comfortable with a handful of them, try to weaving in your own ideas.
The transcription starts at the pickup to the first chorus of piano solo. Around 1:06.