The latest album by Eliane Elias is a dream come true for the Brazilian jazz artist, as she’s joined by late legend Chick Corea and renowned Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés on Mirror Mirror.
Featuring a series of duets with Corea and Valdés, it’s the Grammy-winning pianist, singer and composer’s first piano-only record since her 1995 record Solos and Duets with Herbie Hancock.
The recording sessions took place at Yamaha’s Artist Services in Manhattan with Corea and Brooklyn’s Bunker Studios with Valdés. Co-produced by Elias, Marc Johnson and Steve Rodby, Mirror Mirror features four tracks with Corea and three with Valdés.
The collaborations alternate between the two, but the story behind the album unfolds in two distinct periods.
Elias first met Corea in 1978 in Brazil, and he became one of her primary influences. They met on occasion throughout their careers, and they often talked about playing or recording together. When the opportunity finally presented itself, all they had to do was pick out the songs.
“Despite him being a generation older, our influences were similar: Bud Powell, Bill Evans… in fact, we had both done tributes to Evans,” says Elias. “We also played with many of the same bassists and drummers and, of course, both were rooted in classical training. He played Mozart and Scarlatti, I played Bach and Ravel. Those shared influences poured out as we played and one can feel our affinities through the inventiveness of the rhythms and harmonies, how we felt time with each other and how we treated the songs.”
When Corea passed away unexpectedly in February of 2021, Eliane was devastated. While focusing deeply on the mixing process of her four recordings with Corea, she was reminded of the effortless communication and chemistry the pair had experienced throughout their sessions.