SYLVIA MIMS

Where Lovers Live

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From the beginning of the opening title cut of “Where Lovers Live” which she starts with a bit of joyful scat, it is obvious that Sylvia Mims knows how to sing. She has a beautiful voice, a wide range, and a powerful delivery, hitting the center of every note. She puts a lot of feeling into the lyrics of each song, has very attractive jazz phrasing, and swings at every tempo.

It is very difficult to believe that Where Lovers Live is Sylvia Mims’ first CD as a leader for she is already a masterful singer. Accompanied by pianist Donn Trenner and (on five of the dozen selections) bassist Dave Daddario, she sounds very much at home in this sparse setting. While there are brief moments where she hints at early Nancy Wilson (such as on “My Foolish Heart”) or Dinah Washington, Sylvia Mims has her own voice and musical personality.

There are many highlights to this very enjoyable outing. Donn Trenner’s “Where Lovers Live” is an appealing jazz waltz that fits her voice well. On “More Than You Know” she confidently sings its verse and chorus beautifully, filling the room with her voice and really digging into the meaning of the lyrics. While she mostly sings the melody of “What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life,” when she changes a few of the notes, it enhances the song. Other performances that benefit from her interpretations include an emotional Angel Eyes,” one of the best vocal versions of “There Will Never Be Another You,” and a slow and heartfelt “Young And Foolish.”

Listeners who enjoy hearing first-class interpretations of classic lyrics should consider Sylvia Mims’ Where Lovers Live to be a must.

Scott Yanow, author of 11 books including The Jazz Singers, Swing, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Records 1917-76