Swiss born singer-songwriter and guitarist, Eliane Amherd, has established herself amongst the New York jazz, latin and Brazilian music scene. A graduate of the New School’s Jazz Program she has a new self-produced CD Now and From Now On that displays her musical sensibility that extends beyond any specific genre. Backed by an unusual band of Bill Ware’s vibes, Gustavo Amarante on bass, Willard Dyson on drums and Ze Mauricio on percussion, she brings a hip, varied musical performance with her smokey delivery of her free flowing lyrics (with exception of Tom Waits’ “Temptation”). One might suggest as a reference point that Eliane Amherd sounds like a Sheryl Crow with a jazz and world-music sensibility.
Emherd is more than an intriguing singer as she displays some sharp guitar chops on As If, followed by the afro-beat of Me TeTan Pliji with its very playful rhythms and lyrics (she effectively has overdubbed backing vocals here and elsewhere) “I’d like to swim in the ocean, like to swim in the ocean, like to be in the deep blues sea; but all I have here is a river, all i have is a river, much too wild and too cold is he.” Don’t Give Up On Me has a bluesy flavor, and in addition to her pleading vocal, has some nice guitar. The playful Afro-Caribbean rhythms complement the vocal for the ironic Feel a Little Sorry For Yourself as she sings about the recession special and cocktail hour that one should take full advantage of feel sorry for oneself. The wistful Where Is Home (“do I go east, do i go west, don’t know no more, which way is best”) is followed by the playful vocals and lyrics Let Me Explain, with its bossa rhythms. Wait’s Temptation draws out a sultriness in Emherd’s vocals while her guitar chords help frame Bill Ware’s vibes solo.
Overall, Emherd impresses as a singer and songwriter and the arrangements she has provided her band strengthen the effect of what this listener found to be quite captivating music here. Now and From Now On is wonderfully recorded by Jason Sarubbi and while the 11 performances only last 38 minutes, the performances are small gems. It is available at cdbaby.com and Eliane’s website is www.elianeperforms.com.
I received a review copy from a publicist for this release.