Ivan Lins’s My Heart Speaks Review Roundup

Brazilian singer Ivan Lins poses in studio for his song Renata Maria.

Grammy-Nominated My Heart Speaks Vies For Best Latin Jazz Album

Ivan Lins’s My Heart Speaks Review Roundup. Read opinions and comments on this milestone Brazilian Jazz album from top reviewers.

Introduction: Ivan Lins’s My Heart Speaks Review Roundup

It’s not often that we, as fans, are treated to a musical metamorphosis like the one provided by Ivan Lins and his album, My Heart Speaks.

The dedication and care given to this project by Resonance Records founder George Klabin is admirable. It also reflects how this album was conceived and brought to life.

Happily, it’s a story that’s recounted in amazing detail within the booklet that’s included with the Deluxe CD album as a worthy companion.

Our introduction came with the first single on June 16th. We enjoyed Dianne Reeves singing ‘The Heart Speaks’ as a gift to be shared on Ivan Lins’s birthday. Weeks later, a second single emerged with Tawanda’s expressive take on Lins’s classic love song, ‘I’m Not Alone’.

The album release date for My Heart Speaks came in mid-September with Ivan Lins at his storytelling best. The opening song, ‘Renata Maria’ arrived as a testament to Lins’s mastery of nuance and emotion.

Resonance Records has just released a new video for My Heart Speaks by Ivan Lins in honor of his Grammy nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album.

In our own review of My Heart Speaks, we recounted Lins’s musical milestones as stepping stones through a career spanning five decades.

A nugget? Lins, we wrote, is the first (and only) Brazilian to win the Latin Grammy award for Album of The Year.

Read Connect Brazil’s complete review here and explore the thoughts and insights of several top music reviewers, below.

Scott Adams

Connect Brazil

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Stuart Nicholson | Jazzwise

“A labour of love by Resonance label founder and producer George Klabin, with string arrangements by Kuno Schmid.”

“… with string arrangements by Kuno Schmid, this is a perfect entry into the musical world of the Brazilian songwriter whom many, Klabin included, believe is the equal of Antonio Carlos Jobim. A big claim, but Klabin’s production stands it up, thanks to Schmid’s bold and imaginative arranging, illuminating Lins’ unforgettable melodies and more adventurous harmonies than his countryman.

Monheidt as both lyricist and singer appears on ‘Rio,’ while Twanda, is a vocalist of great promise, if ‘I’m Not Alone’ is anything to go by.

  • Tap or click the link to read the complete review at Jazzwise.

Thom Jurek | AllMusic

‘Iconic Brazilian singer/composer Ivan Lins has written many MPB standards revered at home and abroad.’

Resonance Records, whose founder George Klabin is a longtime fan, released Eddie Daniels’ star-studded Night Kisses: A Tribute to Ivan Lins in 2020.

Klabin also commissioned My Heart Speaks. Lins chose this career-spanning program of well-known and obscure songs.

My Heart Speaks also includes liner notes by James Gavin with extensive commentary by Lins. This late-career release is revelatory, as Lins gets inside his songs to impart emotional nuances hidden in both lyrics and music. The program is elegant and potent throughout, presenting Lins in a musical setting befitting his artistry.

  • Tap or click the link to read the complete review at AllMusic.

Thierry De Clemensat | Paris Move

“How to wait until September 15th after having already listened to a track from this album? The answer is simple: impossible.”

The richness of this album lies in the beautiful cultural diversities converging around Ivan Lins, elevating each track and directly touching your heart. It’s worth noting that Ivan Lins has been collaborating with some of the greatest artists for a long time, including Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, Carmen McRae, George Benson, Quincy Jones, and the list could go on indefinitely.

The compositions bridge the gap between traditional Brazilian music and a highly modern, international essence in each track. The album seems to pass by too quickly as you easily immerse yourself in it, even though it boasts a total of eleven tracks, which is no small feat. 

  • Tap or click the link to read the complete review at Paris Move.

Iliana Cabrera | World Music Central

‘The album booklet includes fascinating biographical details written by James Gavin, a well-known music biographer; notes about the songs; and lyrics in Portuguese and English.’

Notably, My Heart Speaks also features high-profile guests from the jazz world such as Dianne Reeves and Jane Monheit, rising talent Tawanda (winner of the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition), and trumpet maestro Randy Brecker.

Although you find plenty of songs in the original Portuguese language, the album includes songs performed in English as well. Lins, celebrated for his truly great, seductive singing, performs many irresistible and accessible gems from his remarkable catalog such as “Renata Maria,” “Corpos” (Bodies), “Congada Blues,” “Easy Going,” “Nada Sem Vocé” and many more. Furthermore, “I’m Not Alone,” performed by Tawanda, is an English language adaptation of Lins’s classic “Anjo de Mim.”

Tap or click the link to read the complete review at World Music Central.

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Katchie Cartwright | AllAboutJazz

‘Warm orchestral waves wash over Lins’ impassioned voice as he tells the tale, the rhythm section simmering underneath.’

The musicians heating the underside of the orchestra are an intriguing mix. Bred and based in California, pianist and musical director Josh Nelson founded an ongoing multimedia collaboration with a live improvisational video mixer, an architect, and a visual artist. Brazilian drummer Mauricio Zottarelli, now based in New York, has a degree in film scoring, performance, and arranging from Berklee. Bassist Carlitos del Puerto learned at the feet of his father, Carlos Del Puerto, founding bassist of the Grammy-winning Cuban jazz band Irakere. Uruguayan guitarist Leonardo Amuedo moved to Rio in 2002 and began working with Lins shortly thereafter.

As improvisers, they enhance the project’s filmic feel, bridging classical-symphonic and Brazilian-jazz energies.

  • Tap or click the link to read Cartwright’s complete review at AllAboutJazz.

Raul Da Gama | Latin Jazz Net

‘This is a superbly produced recording full of memorable moments from start to finish that leaves you wanting for more.’

By the time the ’60s rolled into the ’70s, Ivan Lins came to the attention of Brasilian audiences. Such was his melodic and harmonic genius that Herbie Mann put Mr Lins on par with George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, and Richard Rodgers, with intimations of Ravel and Debussy.

George Duke was similarly impressed and suggested he [Mr Lins] was indeed the Michel Legrand of his generation. The repertoire on this album, appropriately entitled My Heart Speaks is further proof of Mr Lins’s genius.

It is also a reminder that Mr Lins is truly one of the most magical troubadours of our time.

  • Tap or click the link to read the complete review at LatinJazzNet.

Dee Dee McNeil | Musicalmemoir’s Blog

‘Ivan Lins’ album opens like a best-selling book, each song a chapter from his life and times.’

“Renata Maria.” This first song speaks of a goddess who rises from the sea and whose beauty makes all of nature pale in comparison. Then, she vanishes and leaves a lovesick observer to pace the beach, searching for her endlessly.  The guitar of Leo Amuedo is prominent and beautiful. 

Josh Nelson is prominently featured on piano during “E Isso Acontece”… of Nelson’s piano playing, Ivan Lins had this to say in his liner notes.  “I’m crazy about Josh Nelson.  He knows it has to be a conversation, an exchange of ideas, of feelings, of spirit.  He senses how an interpreter reacts, how he feels.”

Edward Blanco | All About Jazz

“Lins is not just singing but feeling emotion, intensity, and love, telling a story through the music.”

This multiple Latin Grammy-Award winner remerges with the superb and inviting My Heart Speaks, perhaps the most impressive and lush recording of his long, distinguished career.

On tap here is a wonderful vocal jazz album with a repertoire of bossa nova, samba, and other Brazilian tones warmly expressed by Lin’s hushed voice on eight gorgeous songs from his extensive catalog—all voiced in Portuguese on such songs as the buoyant opener “Renata Maria,” “Nao Ha Porque,” “Congada Blues,” “Easy Going” and others.

Tap or click the link to read Blanco’s complete review at All About Jazz.

My Heart Speaks By Ivan Lins

Download the singles ‘The Heart Speaks’, ‘I’m Not Alone (Anjo de Mim)’, and ‘Renata Maria’, and order Ivan Lins’s new album, ‘My Heart Speaks’:

Resonance Records | Amazon | Bandcamp | Linktree

Listen free: New Music: Brazil | Brazilian Jazz | Women of Brazilian Song | Our Streaming Station

Track List

  1. Renata Maria
  2. The Heart Speaks (Antes e Depois) Dianne Reeves, Vocal
  3. Não Ha Porque (There’s No Reason Why)
  4. I’m Not Alone (Anjo de Mim) Tawanda, Vocal
  5. Congada Blues
  6. E Isso Acontece (And This Happens)
  7. Easy Going
  8. Corpos (Bodies)
  9. Missing Miles Randy Brecker, Trumpet
  10. Rio (Rio de Maio) Jane Monheit, Vocal
  11. Nada Sem Você (Nothing Without You)


Ivan Lins (vocals), Dianne Reeves, Jane Monheit, Tawanda (featured vocals), Randy Brecker (trumpet), Josh Nelson (piano), Leo Amuedo (guitar), Carlitos Del Puerto (bass), Mauricio Zottarelli (drums & percussion). With special thanks to the Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra.

All songs arranged by Kuno Schmid
Produced by George Klabin and Kuno Schmid
Associate Producers: Catherine Mayer and Fran Gala
Mastered by Fran Gala • Recording Engineer in Tblisi: Lars Dolle
Assistant Producer in Tblisi: Josh Nelson
Cover Photo: Bruno Veiga • Album Design: JRocket77 Design

Ivan Lins’s My Heart Speaks Review Roundup

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