Uptown without being gentrified, swinging without being loungy, wide-ranging without being gimmicky, Denise Thimes is the classiest of the living St. Louis jazz greats and she is one of the greats. Legendary trumpeter Clark Terry ranks her with Carmen McRae, Nancy Wilson and Lady Day herself and he's not blowing smoke. Thimes can ring all the dreamy, delicate nuances from standards like "Embraceable You" or give a blues number like "A Little Sugar in My Bowl" more than a dash of soul. And when she wants to, she can scat with Ella-like agility. She's sung for queens and presidents, but she continues to sing for her hometown on a regular basis. Jazz in St. Louis wouldn't be the same without her.