Artist: Dee Bell
Album: Lins, Lennox, & Life
Genre: Vocal Jazz
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
By Chance (5:20)
After The Storm (5:38)
Crying Of The Waters (3:34)
Boa Nova (5:14)
Believe What I Say (3:27)
What Might Have Been (4:38)
Stay By Me (4:21)
That Old Black Magic (3:06)
Dee Bell has had a musical love affair with Ivan Lins for 41 years. “Many years ago,” recalls Dee, “the singer Maria Marquez turned me on to a lot of Brazilian music by giving me a tape of several of her favorite artists. Ivan Lins was represented many times and I fell in love with his music. I have listened to his recordings ever since and probably know every song that he has written.”
Ivan Lins, who is now 73, is arguably the most important Brazilian composer to emerge since Antonio Carlos Jobim and a very popular performer. He made a strong impact on the scene starting at the beginning of the 1970s and many of his songs have become popular including “Madalena,” “Love Dance,” “The Island,” and “Velas Icadas.”
Dee Bell has had a wide-ranging life that included performing in an a cappella trio from the age of ten, playing clarinet in her high school band, graduating from Indiana University in pre-med and art, co-founding and running the Earth Kitchen vegetarian restaurant in Bloomington, Indiana, teaching music in five schools, and recording several notable recordings. Her Concord Jazz debut, Let There Be Love, had Stan Getz as a sideman, trumpeter Tom Harrell was on One By One; both albums with Eddie Duran.
Sagacious Grace with Houston Person and John Stowell came out on the Laser label in 2010. 2014’s Silva-Bell-Elation matched her with her collaborator since 2012, arranger-composer-pianist Marcos Silva who has toured with Flora Purim, Toninho Horta and Edu Lobo. Silva arranged, produced and played keyboards on all of the selections on Lins, Lennox & Life.
This new project consists of six Ivan Lins’songs (the rst three have English lyrics by Dee), an original by Silva, two numbers by Annie Lennox, and the standard “That Old Black Magic.” “For a long time, I have wanted to make it easier for people to understand Ivan Lins’ music in English. My lyrics are essentially translations of what Ivan was communicating in each song.”
The set begins with the gentle “By Chance” which has Dee’s lyrics to “Acaso.” The performance not only introduces her warm and alluring voice but the fine trumpet playing of Erik Jekabson whose melodic playing on this number and “Evolution” will remind some of the lyricism of Chet Baker.
“After the Storm” is a perfect example of what Dee calls Brazilian Swing, a merging of her mellow swing style over the Brazilian rhythms provided by Marcos Silva, bassist Tyler Harlow, and drummer Zach Mondlick. “Crying of the Waters” (“Choro das Aguas”) is a particularly beautiful Lins’ song, one that benefits from Dee’s new English lyrics. “Boa Nova,” which features Dee singing Lins’ words in Brazilian, is described by her as “a sweet, fun, happy, little song in which a man sees a woman and is inspired to sing about every beautiful thing that comes to mind.”
Lins’ “Evolution,” which has lyrics by Brock Walsh, includes political thoughts that Dee says “drives the point home with what is happening these days.” To complete the Ivan Lins portion of the CD, Dee sings Patti Austin’s lyrics to his upbeat “Believe What I Say.”
Marcos Silva’s wistful “What Might Have Been” was written after sharing a plane ride with a woman when he knew that, despite their mutual attraction, they would never get together. Sandwiching an infectious version of “That Old Black Magic” are a pair of complementary tunes by Annie Lennox (the love song “Stay By Me” and the laidback “Primitive”) that are given a Brazilian treatment by the musicians and recorded for the simple reason that “I love her tunes.”
In conclusion, the singer says, “The new release is intended as a healing and calming CD, my balm for our current weary world.” It also serves as a perfect introduction to the musical magic of Ivan Lins and the beautiful singing of Dee Bell.