Jazz singer Sylvia Brooks will release her fourth album, “Signature”

Since her thrilling debut in 2009, jazz singer Sylvia Brooks has shown a knack for inhabiting different personalities, with a subspecialty in film noir-inspired femme fatales. On this – Signature (Rhombus Records) – her fourth album, she embraces the most challenging role of all, defining herself with a beautifully crafted set of original songs. His evocative lyrics and emotionally direct delivery imbue the music with a hard-earned authenticity. Whether looking back with wry affection on his wild youth or lamenting a lost love, Brooks brings a bracing honesty and balance to the material.

Artistically, she collaborates with some of Southern California’s most creative accompanists: piano aces Tom Ranier, Jeff Colella and Christian Jacob have crafted alluring and harmonically rich settings for her incisive lyrics. The stellar rhythm section tandem of drummer Ray Brinker and bassist Trey Henry appears on nearly every track. Also featuring cellists John Waltz, Principal Cellist of the Los Angeles Opera Company, Stephanie Fife and Mike Kaufman.

Highlights include the cautionary tale “Red Velvet Rope” which is sensually set to music by master cuatro Kiki Valera, scion of a legendary Cuban musical clan. And she swings in swingtown, from the witty “Catch 22” to the passionately romantic “Les Puces de Paris.” The two songs she includes by other artists, Melody Gardot’s “Your Heart Is as Black as Black as Night” and Leonard Cohen/Sharon Robinson’s erotic lament “Boogie Street” seem to raise the temperature of her own work. . This album marks a quantum leap reflecting years of focused effort.

“I really worked hard to try to make the stories deeper and richer,” she says, “every song is really a story unto itself.”

TRACKS:

Your heart is as black as the night (Gardot) 3:27

Take 22 (Brooks – Colella) 4:46

Red Velvet Rope (Brooks – Marder) 4:18

Done and done (Brooks – Colella) 3:55

The Boy Who Lived There (Brooks – Ranier) 3:47

Sixteen (Brooks – Ranier) 3:34

The Paris Flea Market (Brooks – Jacob) 3:59

Hold back the tears (Brooks – Jacob) 4:26

Boogie Street (Cohen – Robinson) 6:16

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