Pintando sus interpretaciones con una pátina oscura y un sonido exquisito de clásico talento vocal La atractiva y seductora voz de Sylvia Books cantando siempre en perfecta y armónica sintonía.
Vocalist Sylvia Brooks likes to provide her music a noir patina, that smoky and dark evening tone preferred by the likes of the fictional hard men: Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe, and Jeff Markham. On her third recording, The Arrangement, this patina is given a high buff shine into something more contemporary, without losing any of the inherent sexiness of the music and its delivery. The Arrangement is a delicious double entendre on the word “arrangement,” juxtaposing the darker side of love with a play on “arrangement,” here meaning the musical arrangement of the 14 selections contained herein. Miles Davis had made much of the importance of musical arrangement on his famous 1949 Nonet sides, showcasing the arrangements by Gerry Mulligan, John Lewis, Gil Evans, and John Carisi. Brooks looks back at this music, bringing the art of arrangement forward, her arrangers retaining an emphasis on soft soundscapes and counterpoint. The Arrangement is a project where Brooks directed her various arrangers: Otmaro Ruiz, Jeff Colella, Christian Jacob, Kim Richmond and Quinn Johnson, to accomplish two things: they had to incorporate both reeds and brass and, they could choose the musicians they thought would best complement the pieces. The results are plush and direct, smartly outfitted with soft smoothness. Brooks’ voice possesses a superior pliancy, enabling the singer to adapt to manifold musical environments. These environments include Ruiz’s humid Latin affairs, “”Perhaps,” “Midnight Sun,” (arranged by Kim Richmond with Ruiz on piano) and ”Besame Mucho;” and Jacob’s intelligent and swinging contemporary touch (“Eleanor Rigby, ”Never Let me Go”); and Quinn Johnson’s blues-swing infused pieces (“Cold Cold Heart,” “What Was I Thinking”). What all of the arrangements have in common is a svelte tautness that is as comely as it is durable. Brooks’ voice stands front and center in these expertly-crafted songs, a voice full of experience and learning, deftly prepared for any material, as is evidenced by this fine recording.

Jazz interview with jazz singer Sylvia Brooks.

Sylvia Brooks: – I grew up in Miami in a musical household- My dad was a first call Jazz pianist and arranger, and my mom was an Opera Singer.

SB: – Originally, I wanted to be a classical actress- so I went to a Classical Theatre School. But, when my dad died, and I was looking through his music, something awoke in me, and I decided to start working on some of the music that I grew up listening to as a child.

SB: – I started working in Los Angeles with a wonderful pianist named Tom Garvin and he helped me begin to understand this music. He’s passed away since, but he was really my mentor and my friend. He said something to me that really helped me understand artistry. He said, don’t try to decide who you want to be, just let it reveal itself to you. He also told me to not listen to other vocalists on a song that I was working on, because it would influence my delivery. He said; find it yourself, in your own voice.

SB: – I learned to trust the story of the song, and to use my voice more selectively- to use the colors of my voice in different ways to tell different parts of the story. Being in the recording studio was a huge help- there is nowhere to hide there. Also, to work with less vibrato and incorporate more straight tone- I’ve studied voice for years, so it really becomes a matter of what you decide to do when-

SB: – I work a lot on my upper register to keep the range in my voice- also; I have worked a lot on learning to swing. A friend of mine, Cathy Segal Garcia said something interesting to me, she said, everyone swings differently- everyone feels it differently- that really opened things up for me.

SB: – I like the use of melodic counterpoint- which is why I wanted to use horns and reeds on The Arrangement. I consider myself more of a Classic Jazz artist- so, to me, it’s more about harmonies and how they are used to create the structure and mood of the composition.

SB: – I’m very proud of the Arrangement. I wanted to make a record that was musically rich, and somewhat unpredictable. Christian Jacob, Otmaro Ruiz, Jeff Colella, Kim Richmond and Quinn Johnson all have very different musical styles- and so we ended up with an album full of diversity. And yet, it’s very cohesive at the same time. I also included three original compositions- so my next album will have more original material on it- and I’m thinking about making it a little grittier through a different combination of instruments, which I will hold close to the vest until it comes out!

SB: – There is no doubt about it that this is a very difficult business…and that is a very important part of it, it is a business, and a lot of people lose sight of that. In talking to students, I would say stay true to yourself, learn your craft, (really important!) and have the courage of your convictions. For peers, we are all in very different places. I try to support the people that I believe in.

SB: – Absolutely! I personally think that we are in a very exciting time. But I do believe that we all need to open our minds, and allow more voices in- perhaps they don’t always fit the preconceived notions of what Jazz is, but perhaps, the new voices can breathe some new life into the art form and in doing so, make it more accessible to younger people.

SB: – Oh boy, that’s a big question! I have a very zen belief- I believe that we are all on this journey for a reason, that we were put here to do something- and sometimes you can’t always understand why it doesn’t always go the way you think it should- but that’s the beauty of it- it goes exactly as it’s meant to go. It’s important to stay true to your voice- and contribute as much value as possible while you are on this earth- and it will go the way it goes.

SB: – I’m really not sure- life to me is like an onion, you just keep peeling back the layers. I just hope that when something presents itself to me, that I am smart enough and wise enough to see it. I suppose that is my greatest fear- not being tuned in-.

SB: – Writing more songs – writing deeper stories-

SB: – All good music is similar, because it’s so primal. If it makes the listener feel something, then it’s doing its job.

SB: – I just listened to Cheryl Bentynes’ new album ReArranging Shadows- where she deconstructs the music of Stephen Sondheim- really remarkable piece of work.

Interview by : Simon Sargsyan

For many men and women, jazz is a traditional, heart-wrenching form of music that is like no other. Often sung during seemingly depressed times about heartbreaking stories of lost loves or downtrodden times, this form of music has changed and morphed many times since its first renditions. And, there are new performers, including Sylvia Brooks, female jazz singer, who are helping to create a brand new, exciting form of music today. For those who are ready for a new opportunity to explore all that jazz has to offer, this is one performer you will want to check out a bit closer. Explore Sylvia Brooks, Female Jazz Singer It goes without saying that there are many talented artists today in the music world. Even in jazz, there are a variety of new performers who are making their way into the genre with true classic sound. Sylvia Brooks, female jazz singer of today, captivates with her third album, called The Arrangement, which was released in 2017. This third album vividly details a new, innovative style of music that is capturing the hearts and minds of new jazz fans. It offers a wide range of opportunity to explore jazz in a more upbeat and inspirational way. Explore all that Sylvia Brooks has to offer. Find out why so many men and women are taking their time to visit each one of her performances. Get to know a new form of jazz. Jazz has many forms, but often it is in its newest forms that we experience something magical. For those who are ready to embrace this new form of music in Sylvia Brooks, female jazz singer now is the time to do so. Connect with her at any of her upcoming venues or purchase her latest album today.

There is something magical about jazz. It is one of the few forms of music that can transport a person to a different world while also pulling at their heartstrings and developing incredible emotions with every note. When it comes to this type of music, Sylvia Brooks, classic jazz singers like her, and others, can fall in love with this form of music. Jazz is the type of music that changes the lives of those who truly explore it. In its classical form, it can be soul-searching.

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Getting to Know Sylvia Brooks, Female Vocalists

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Sylvia’s vocals are strong and project into the audience. She’s a showgirl with a catchy style. Both vocal and instrumental arrangements are fresh giving these classics rejuvenation. We enjoyed “Body and Soul”, “What Was I Thinking” and “Besame Mucho” just a few in a wonderful set. We found ourselves wanting to repeat the set over and over!

The queen of jazz noir changes her look and sound a bit but the cover shot still smacks of a femme fatale slinking down a hotel hallway.

Corralling the crème of LA’s jazzbo community to assist at all levels of the game, she writes a little more, digs some different sounds, but never loses sight of her laser focus as being a top jazz singer that understands her lyrics and knows how to make them new. Chops like this are practically one of a kind and are not to be missed. The reigning queen reigns on.

The rich and chesty voice of Sylvia Brooks is clear and alluring on her delivery of jazz and pop standards. She’s got a rich and seductive vibrato, well delivered on the late night “Angel Eyes” while sounding like a sincere story teller on “Eleanor Rigby.” She knows how to veer through a hip rhythm team, as she sears through the hip horns on “Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps” and struts through a shuffling “Cold Cold Heart” while keeping upbeat on a perky “Midnight Sun.” She can get deep and attractive on the misty “Besame Mucho” while vulnerable yet accusing on “Guess Who I Saw Today.” She’s able to let her voice tell a story, using the lyrics as guideposts.