by Constance Tucker
I had the opportunity to review Sylvia Bennet’s CD; Sonrie back in 2012, even then I was struck by the buoyancy of her vocals and the sheer command she had of her instrument, certainly earning the ardent praise of her longtime collaborator Lionel Hampton. Well as long-time collaborations go, Bennett is back again with her stalwart producer Hal Batt, though this time with a more contemporary flair and commercial appeal from a production standpoint, but underneath it all, is still the gleaming voice of Sylvia Bennett. Hers is a sound that is lush, confident, easy on the ears and almost has a lulling effect of bliss.
The newest album in the ever-growing discography of Bennett is entitled For You. The classic “Fly Me to the Moon,” was the first track I started with, though the fifth track in the proceedings, it’s a classic tune I seem to never be able to resist. The tune begins with a dreamy intro, proceeded by an engaging rhythmic feel that leads into a well-thought-out solo and in 2:30 seconds says more than many epilogue songs of today.
The title track “For You,” a tropical pop-infused song that is clearly influenced by Batt’s history of working with such chart-topping artists as: Ricky Martin, Julio Iglesias, Regina Belle and many more, evidently rings through this hot, hot, hot track, with a lot of danceability. The production continues with “Stay with Me,” a saucy proclamation of eternal love that is worth taking a chance on. Each song takes the listener through a textural journey of emotions, but all centrically focused on love. Songs like “Two Hearts One Soul,” “I Never Thought,” and “Loving You,” were tunes, far removed from Bennett’s previous releases, but what was refreshing is Bennett is still the focus, the music is just the colorization of the mood. Her shining voice still rings through – no matter the song title or style. Batt does an excellent job as always producing Bennett. Her voice is so distinctive is hard not to instantly fall in love.
Sylvia Bennett continues her journey into smooth and contemporary original music… her brand-new album For You delivers another successful set of contemporary, sensuous songs from the Grammy-nominated, Miami-based vocalist and songwriter. With special guest, Hungarian violinist, and bandleader Peter Ferencz, each tune is a Smooth- Jazz- Pop triumph
Track Listing: For You; Stay with Me; Two Hearts One Soul; I Never Thought; Fly Me to The Moon; Smile Loving You; Look of Love; Make Someone Happy; Glad to Know; Smile.
Personnel: Sylvia Bennett: vocals; Hal Batt: production, instrumentation; Peter Ferencz (violin).