Impulsive! (Stunt Records/Sundance Music)

Eliane Elias, Bob Brookmeyer & The Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra

Released September 4, 2001

Grammy Nominee Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album 2002




“Impulsive!” is – in spite of careful preparations – worthy of its title: the language of jazz is global, and Eliane Elias’ music is complex and melodious all at once, and always just as infectious as she herself is charming, with a mixture of sweetness and determination.

Here we have six of her pieces of music to fall in love with – and it will also be hard not to fall in love with the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra and its great musicians and with Bob Brookmeyer’s compelling orchestrations.

Track Listing:

1. Just Kiddin’ (Eliane Elias) 7:31

2. So in Love (Eliane Elias) 8:42

3. Moments (Eliane Elias) featuring: Henrik Bolberg Pedersen 9:13

4. The Time Is Now (Eliane Elias) featuring: Jonas Johansen / Thomas Ovesen 11:48

5. One Side of You (Eliane Elias) featuring: Thomas Ovesen 7:52

6. Impulsive! (Eliane Elias) featuring: Tomas Franck / Jonas Johansen / Uffe Markussen / Ethan Weisgard 10:02


Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra

Bob Brookmeyer: conductor, arranger, valve trombone

Benny Rosenfeld, Jesper Riis, Palle Bolvig, Henrik Bolberg Pedersen, Jens Winthe: trumpet, flugelhorn

Vincent Nilsson, Steen Hansen: trombone, baritone horn

Kjeld Ipsen: trombone

Klaus Lohrer: bass trombone Nicolai Schultz: soprano & alto saxophones, flute, alto flute

Michael Hove: soprano & alto saxophones, flute, clarinet

Uffe Markussen: soprano & tenor saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet

Tomas Franck: soprano & tenor saxophones, clarinet

Axel Windfeld: bass trombone, tuba


Eliane Elias: piano

Thomas Ovesen: acoustic & electric basses

Jonas Johansen: drums

Nikolaj Bentzon: keyboards, synthesizer

Anders “Chico” Lindvall: guitar

Ethan Weisgard: percussion

Recorded February 23 – 26, 1997, at Studio 3, Broadcast House, Copenhagen, Denmark

Producer: Finn Kragerup

Executive-Producer: Peter H. Larsen

Engineering and Mixing: Lars Palsig

Photography: Jan Persson


The compositions on Impulsive! are by Brazilian–bred Elias, the charts by Kansas City’s Bob Brookmeyer, and they — and the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra — form an impressively cosmopolitan team. Orchestrally speaking, Brookmeyer gets the most out of each of Elias’ half–dozen charming melodies, sketching them in bold and brilliant colors, while the DRJO plays them with its usual unruffled proficiency and flair. If the arrangements sound as though they’d been fashioned with the DRJO in mind, perhaps that’s because Brookmeyer was then (1997) its chief conductor, leaving that position the following year in the capable hands of pianist / composer Jim McNeely. Brookmeyer adds insouciantly swinging solos on “So in Love” and “The Time Is Now,” sharing honors with Elias whose perceptive improvisations enliven every number. Others who respond with alacrity when their name is called include trumpeter Henrik Bolberg Pedersen (“Moments”), bassist Thomas Ovesen and drummer Jonas Johansen (“The Time Is Now”), Ovesen again (the delightful ballad “One Side of You”), Johansen, percussionist Ethan Weisgard and tenors Tomas Franck and Uffe Markussen (“Impulsive!”). In spite of Elias’ Brazilian roots, the Latin influence predominates only on “The Time Is Now,” with the other selections planted firmly in the harmoniously rich soil of contemporary American big–band Jazz. Often, one’s most pleasant musical experiences are those that are the least expected, and Impulsive! certainly warrants such a description. One could of course wish for more solos by the aways engaging Brookmeyer, but short of that, not much could be done to improve upon the album as a whole (sound quality is topnotch, playing time adequate). As one who blushes to admit that he had heard Elias’ name but not her music, except in passing, I must confess that she now has at least one more ardent champion here in the States.

Jack Bowers (All About Jazz)