“Night Kisses: A Tribute To Ivan Lins” features Dave Grusin and Bob James
“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 Klabin.
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.
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 on electric.
“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.
James 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.”