A Love Affair: The Music of Ivan Lins needs some musicial context before we begin. Beacuse there always seems to be a stack of world music CDs sitting on our review desk.:
by Scott Adams
(This article was first published by Connectbrazil.com on September 13, 2000)
The latest girl group from Peru, The lost chants of Armenia. Music for making tea!
Fortunately, for all of us, Ivan Lins has always understood the difference between World Music and music for the world. So has producer Jason Miles.
Jason Miles did a masterful job with ‘A Love Affair: The Music of Ivan Lins’ to acheive something not contemplated sice Creed Taylor chased that same vision 38 years ago.
Songwriter Lins has always left the lyrics to his beautiful melodies for others to provide: opening up a universe of creative input from top songwriters. And the influence of his childhood years in Cambridge, MA has provided a cultural reference for all of the continents.
‘A Love Affair: The Music of Ivan Lins’ pairs 10 of his best songs with an equally stellar line-up of pop performers.
The result is a phenomenal album that spans virtually every musical category to fly in the face of what we’re told World Music should be.
While other great Brazilian songwriters have musical styles that are easily identifiable, Lins’ versatility is such that each song carries its own distinctive signature.
In fact, if unfamiliar with his work, you’d be hard pressed to think that any two songs were written by this one composer.
And this composer writes very well.
Consider that ‘She Walks This Earth (Soberanna Rosa)’ won the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and that ‘Camaleão’ was nominated for the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
Then don’t forget the Grammy award won by Quincy Jones for ‘Velas’ several years ago.
Simply put, Ivan Lins’ melodies speak volumes.
You’ll immediately appreciate the difference from the first few seconds of Chaka Khan’s version of ‘So Crazy’ (Cru-Cre Corroro) or Vanessa Williams’ read of Lins’ timeless ballad, ‘Love Dance’. And Sting’s treatment of ‘She Walks This Earth’ found us digging deep to recall what the original sounded like!
Only a master songwriter of Lins caliber could ever hope to provide the perfect canvas for musicians to paint on. Think about that for a moment.
With so many “pop” formats to explore theses days, its no surprise to find James “D Train” Williams paired with Lisa Fischer on the soulful ‘You Moved Me To This’, or Brenda Russell perfectly matched for ‘Nocturne’ in what could just as easily have been a song written by Burt Bacharach for Dionne Warwick.
Jazz fans will welcome Grover Washington, Jr.’s soprano sax play on ‘Camaleão’ and the understated jazz-samba guitar lead from Peter White on ‘Elis’.
Freddy Cole’s intimate voice on ‘I’m Not Alone- Who Loves You’ leads perfectly to Diane Reeves and her softly elegant portrayal of ‘Sweet Presence’ to reveal their own “Love Affair” with Lins’ music.
And our ‘One Track’ from ‘A Love Affair: The Music of Ivan Lins’ ? Here it is.
A Love Affair: The Music of Ivan Lins
Personnel: Ivan Lins, Dianne Reeves, James “D-Train” Williams, Chaka Khan, Lisa Fischer, Freddy Cole, Brenda Russell, Sting, Vanessa Williams, New York Voices (vocals), Grover Washington, Jr. (soprano sax), Dave Koz, Jay Beckenstein (alto sax), Michael Brecker, Bob Berg (tenor saxophone), Jim Pugh (trombone), Chuck Loeb, Dean Brown, Peter White (guitars), Romero Lubambo (acoustic guitar, cavaquinho), Ivan Lins, Oscar Hernandez Joe Sample (piano, electric piano), Rob Mathis, Pamela Driggs (keyboards), Jan Folkson (synth programming), Marcus Miller, Mark Egan, Will Lee (bass), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Marc Quiñones, Cyro Baptista (percussion), Pamela Driggs, Romero Lubambo, Peter White, Peter Eldridge, Lauren Kinhan, Kim Nazarian, Marcus Miller, Darmon Meader (background vocals)
‘A Love Affair: The Music of Ivan Lins’: Produced by Jason Miles, Ivan Lins, Rob Mathes, Michael Bishop. Robert Woods Executive Producer. Arranged by Darmon Meader and Rob Mathis.
Total time: 51:24
01. She Walks This Earth (Soberana Rosa) – Sting
02. Love Dance – Vanessa Williams
03. Camaleão – Grover Washington Jr.
04. Answered Prayers (E De Deus) – New York Voices
05. So Crazy For This Love (Cru-Cre Corroro) – Chaka Khan
06. You Moved Me To This – Lisa Fischer and James ‘D Train’ Williams
07. Nocturne (Noturna) – Brenda Russell
08. Elis (Leva E Traz) – Peter White
09. I’m Not Alone (Anjo De Mim) – Freddy Cole
10. Sweet Presence (Doce Presença) – Dianne Reeves
11. Somos Todos Iquais Nesta Noite – Ivan Lins