New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
"It's jazz, it's beauty and it opens the heart." That is how six-time GRAMMY-nominated horn player Eddie Daniels describes his forthcoming album, "Night Kisses: A Tribute to Ivan Lins." Slated to drop July 31 on Resonance Records, the new collection is the second chapter in a trilogy devoted to iconic Brazilian composers and the follow up to the 2018 GRAMMY-nominated "Heart of Brazil: A Tribute to Egberto Gismonti." Both albums were produced by the series' conceptualizer George
Daniels, who is best known as a clarinetist and tenor saxophonist accomplished in both jazz and classical music, has a long history of playing Brazilian and Latin music. However, he admitted to "being kind of a dummy about the specific great Brazilian composers that I was about to tackle when George
approached me with the idea for the trilogy, but I have this clave (Afro-Cuban groove) in my body as much as anyone because I just love this music so much."
Klabin selected a dozen tunes from Lins' songbook for "Night Kisses," which closes with an original composition by GRAMMY and Emmy winner Bob James, "Ivante," inspired by and named for Lins. When Klabin sent the music to Daniels, the multi-hornplayer only knew one song, "Amor," and the material itself presented a challenge.
"I was kind of befuddled because I loved the music, but I didn't know if I could live up to the kind of heart that Ivan puts into the music that is so soulful. He became so special to me because of his singing, the heart - it's raw, beautiful and emotional. I kept saying 'How am I going to live up to this on a clarinet or a saxophone?' The great thing about George
is that he wanted to do music that was not so popular, that was older music by Ivan Lins, so you could say that most of this music I knew nothing of," said Daniels, a New Yorker who has lived in Santa
Fe for several decades.
Coming off the success of "Heart of Brazil," Daniels was looking to bring something special to "Night Kisses" when fate intervened. Dental work prevented him from playing clarinet in the weeks prior to the recording sessions held in Klabin's Los Angeles studio so Daniels did something he hadn't done in 30 years: he started playing flute, an instrument he played and studied extensively in the early portion of his lengthy career. Daniels calls the reappearance of flute in his music "the surprise of the album" that is evenly divided between four flute tunes, four clarinet tunes and four tenor sax tunes.
Daniels is accompanied by the same rhythm section he had on "Heart of Brazil": pianist Josh Nelson
(who also contributed three arrangements), bassist Kevin
Axt and drummer Mauricio Zottarelli. Kuno Schmid plays piano on the romantic "Cantor Da Noite" and wrote a handful of arrangements for the album. The Harlem Quartet fills the album with lavish string section accoutrements. But the highlights are the appearances by James
and Academy Awards and 10-time GRAMMY winner Dave Grusin, each of whom wrote two arrangements and played on two tracks. Incredibly, their collaboration on "Ivante" is the first time the two contemporary jazz piano giants ever recorded together with Grusin featured on acoustic piano and James
"Bob and Dave know Ivan Lins very well. Ivan is on one of Dave's early albums, 'Harlequin.' He basically introduced Ivan Lins to the American public with that album. I thought their appearances would make this record a little bit different. Dave and Bob were both very, very generous with wanting to be on the album. I was a guest on a lot of their albums. Dave hired me to do seven albums on GRP Records. When I was in the studios in the 1970s doing all the CTI recordings, Bob always called me to be one of the reed players on his albums. I got a chance to have two of my bosses and idols be on this album. I'm so glad because my history is with them. For me, it's kind of a summation of everything I've done through my life up to now," said Daniels.
said, "It was the highlight of my year to have the opportunity to contribute some music to this beautiful project. I've always loved the artistry of Ivan Lins and working alongside Eddie Daniels and Dave Grusin was a big pleasure and very stimulating."
Klabin first became enchanted by Lins' music while visiting family in Brazil in the 1970s. His heart is deeply rooted in Brazilian music. The veteran jazz producer, Resonance Records president and founder of Rising Jazz Stars Foundation has already begun sending Daniels music for the final disc in the trilogy: an album paying tribute to Milton
Nascimento. In the meantime, he is immensely proud of "Night Kisses," calling it "The most meaningful and satisfying production of jazz I have ever worked on in my entire career."
Daniels concurs. "I feel that too because sometimes when you don't try too hard, you get it right. When people hear it, they frequently comment on the album's musicality. I like the album for this time with what we're all going through. Because of this virus and we're all stuck at home, maybe people will sit at home and listen to the entire album. Nobody really listens to a whole body of work. People download one tune. I feel that this album is a uniquely whole work."
Now in his late 70s, Daniels hears growth and maturity in his hornplay on "Night Kisses."
"My playing was always described as too busy in my early days - my 30s. Your inner being changes as you mature. This album is kind of a high point in terms of maturity of emotion, of being able to play simply and get my point across lovingly and economically. This album isn't bebop. It's all about the heart," said Daniels before reflecting on current events.
"In these days when we are struggling with coronavirus, politics and protests, we need to warm our hearts and get us back to love. 'Night Kisses' does just that. When I hear it, it has a great calming effect...a way to get to our hearts and block out the noise of the world."
"Night Kisses: A Tribute To Ivan Lins" contains the following songs:
"A Voz De Povo" (The Voice Of The People)
"Pano De Fundo" (Backdrop)
"Manos De Afeto" (Hand Of Affection)
"D'Aquilo Que Eu Sei" (That Which I Know)
"Velas Icadas" (Hoisted Sails)
"Dinorah, Dinorah" (The Call Girl)
""Cantor Da Noite" (The Night Singer)
"Quadras De Roda" (Children's Folk Dance)
"Depois Dos Temporais" (After The Storms)
" (The Night)