Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Silvia Fleming has been surrounded by music all her life. That's not surprising considering she had a mother who was a professional singer and a father who was an electronics engineer and a music manager for his wife.
Needless to say, her mother's influence instilled a deep love of Big Band tunes, jazz, and all of the great American standards by George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Harold Arlen, and Irving Berlin. Fleming combined her love of singing with the study of classical piano and received a B.A. in Music Education from California State University, Fullerton.
Last November, Fleming released this album which got a tremendous review from our friends at Christmasreviews.com:
"Silvia Fleming has one of those honey-sweet voices that are just made for singing jazzy, romantic easy listening pop tunes. And with occasional support from the great Sam Levine on alto sax, she is able to deliver a sound that supports the romantic aspirations of 'Love for Christmas'.
"Although Ms. Fleming is primarily striking a romantic pose, she delves more into sacred music here than one might expect. I particularly enjoyed her sweet and reverent More Than A Child. The Joy of Christmas was also quite quite lovely. Though her voice is a bit more sultry, these renditions are reminiscent of Karen Carpenter, and fans of Carpenter will most likely enjoy Silvia Fleming's 'Love For Christmas'."
A voice of reminiscent of Karen Carpenter? Oooooo...
1.) Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Silvia's voice is rich and mellow (like Karen's) and the longing in her voice suits the song's mood perfectly.
2.) Christmas Time is Here
With a great arrangement by Tim Hayden and another dose of Fleming gives this Vince Guaraldi chestnut a new spin that I enjoyed.
3.) Love for Christmas
The title track was written in 1998 by two Caroles (King & Bayer Sager) and recorded for King's 2007 deluxe album. The message is timely in this economically depressed season.
4.) Santa Baby
Silvia won't make you forget Eartha Kitt but she'll definitely hold your attention with this Christmas classic.
5.) The Other Side of Christmas
Unique original Christmas song (written by Tim Hayden) that reminds us about the secular side of Christmas intruding on the real meaning of Christmas. Enjoyed this one quite a bit.
6.) In a Lowly Manger Sleeping
Lovely reworking of this standard Christmas carol. Her voice gets more rich and mellow as I continue to listen.
7.) I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
If only more artists would make standard Christmas carols like this more accessible... wonderful rendition.
8.) More Than a Child
Different arrangement showcases Fleming's vocal attributes to a "T".
9.) My Grown Up Christmas List
CONFESSION: I've never been a fan of this song (too adult contemporary for me). Silvia does a great job but I couldn't warm up to it.
10.) The Joy of Christmas
WOW! We need more original songs like this - the Christmas songbook needs new blood! Very, very nice!
11.) What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?
Any version of any Christmas song that adds the intro gets an extra star from me. This is exquisite - my favorite track on the album.
I must admit, the review from Christmasreviews.com made me think of Karen Carpenter quite a bit when I listened. However, if I hadn't read that first before listening, I would have declared the second coming of Karen Carpenter.
Fleming has a wonderful Christmas album here and should you want a copy for yourself, CD Baby has it for sale or you can head over to Silvia's website to listen to samples from this album and learn more about her.
Thanks for the CD!