As you probably know, I listen and write about new albums featuring songs from The Great American Songbook, and I admit to sometimes having fatigue about them. Some great interpretations of most of these songs are already ingrained in my head that more often than not, new renditions come up short when compared to these classic versions. Sure, I know that’s unfair for these newer artists, but it comes with the parcel of interpreting these songs.
And then very rarely, I chance upon a singer that impresses me immensely. Sylvia Mims, in her new album, ‘Rhapsody in Technicolor,’ just does that . I like her soulful take of these songs. And by soulful, I do not mean soul as a genre. She sings these songs with such lived-in quality that you can feel the emotional connection to the lyrics. Plus. the arrangements appeal to me – very introspective, contemplative, and on the right songs, romantic. I can’t remember the last time I listened to songs being sung where I instantly felt the feeling of loving so vividly. ‘The Nearness of You’s message, for example, has never felt more purposeful. I had to listen to it twice so I can recapture the feeling.
This is also an album that, I suspect, will grow deeper with each spin. I plan on peeling its layers.