Eliane Elias (2)
Eliane Elias is one of the finest post-bop pianists of her generation and has also found major success as a mainstream bossa nova vocalist. Raised in Sao Paolo, Brazil, but enthralled by N.Y.C.-style bop piano, Elias first earned attention in Brazil for her work with Vinicius de Moraes, AC Jobim's old songwriting partner. Upon moving to New York in the early 1980s, she became a key member of Steps Ahead and worked with Randy Brecker, whom she later married (and divorced). In the late 1980s, she joined the famed Blue Note roster and released a superb series of piano albums, including Everything I Love and Solos and Duets (her dueting partner was Herbie Hancock, one of her major influences). She returned to Blue Note for the best-selling Bill Evans tribute Something for You. Her 2009 vocal set, Bossa Nova Stories, became a breakout best-seller in Britain and continental Europe; still, this true jazz artist deserves similar mainstream success in her adopted home.