‘My Heart Speaks’ is the latest album from Brazilian icon, IVAN LINS. Lins is prolific. He’s released almost 50 long players and has won four Latin Grammys. In the soul world he’s possibly best known for his song ‘Love Dance’ which has been recorded by people like Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, Mark Murphy, Shirley Horn, Blossom Dearie, Carmen McRae, George Benson, Nancy Wilson, Barbra Streisand, and Quincy Jones. Indeed it was the mighty Q who did much to engineer Lins’ US breakthrough in the 80s.
For the new album, singer/writer Lins delivers 11 gems from his back catalogue – all freshly interpreted and recorded with the 91-piece Symphony Orchestra of Tbilisi alongside a quartet of star performers Dianne Reeves, Jane Monheit, Randy Brecker and newcomer Tawanda. Tawanda (winner of the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition) fronts the symphonic ‘I’m Not Alone’, an English version of Lins’s classic ‘Anjo de Mim’. Its lyricist, Will Jennings, has written two Oscar-winning No. 1 hits to his credit – ‘Up Where We Belong’ and ‘My Heart Will Go On’ . He also wrote the lyrics to the Crusaders’ ‘Street Life’.
Dianne Reeves fronts the equally lush album title track. The tune was first recorded instrumentally by trumpeter Terence Blanchard on his 1995 album of Lins’s songs; here the lyric comes courtesy of Jane Monheit. Ms Monheit herself sings ‘Rio’ a heartfelt homage to the city where Lins spends half the year (he also has a home in Lisbon). Lins is the vocalist on another sumptuous ballad – ‘Renata Maria’ – a song about a dreamlike goddess who appears on a beach and infatuates the song’s protagonist. Not all the songs, though, are romantic. ‘Corpos’ (‘bodies’) dates from the dark years of Brazil’s military dictatorship, when political dissenters were disappearing. Lins wrote it with Vitor Martins, one of Brazil’s most profound lyric writers.
IVAN LINS: My Heart Speaks is released September 15, 2023 via Resonance Records.