Excellent fifties torch singer
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 01/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sylvia, a New Yorker, was a successful actress and she's also written some short stories for children, but singing was always her first love. The two albums that make up this twofer were recorded in 1956 and 1957, when Elvis and the boys were changing popular music forever. Among the female singers, there were plenty of other torch singers around including Jeri Southern, June Christy, Gogi Grant, Peggy Lee and Julie London to name a few. In the face of such competition, it would be easy to overlook Sylvia Syms, but she was also an excellent torch singer as this twofer shows. Like her competitors, Sylvia trawled the Great American Songbook for suitable material to record, selecting a mix of popular standards and more obscure songs, though there are not many really famous songs here.
Brits will recognize Lilac wine, revived by Elkie Brooks in the late seventies, but Elkie is not famous in America and there don't seem to be many versions of Lilac wine around, so I wonder how well known this song is in America. Even as a Brit, I'm pleased to find it here, given a somewhat different treatment to the way Elkie recorded it (but I love her version too).
Of the other songs, perhaps the best known are Then I'll be tired of you, Down with love, Dancing in the dark, When a woman loves a man and I'll be seeing you, but every song here is wonderful and Sylvia's performance cannot be faulted.
If you enjoy top quality torch music, fifties style, particularly by the other singers I mentioned, give Sylvia Syms a listen."