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September 2017 Issue
August 2017
JAZZIZ July Issue

Jacqui Naylor

Sylvia Brooks Charts Her Way With “The Arrangement”

Sylvia Brooks The Arrangement Cover ArtSinger and actress Sylvia Brooks is obsessed with the charts. Not the ones in Billboard or JazzTimes, mind you, but the ones that she commissioned for her aptly titled recording The Arrangement (SBM). For a set comprising songbook standards and jazzy reads of tunes from outside the jazz world, Brooks contracted a handful of diverse arrangers to pen fresh charts. The Miami native and Los Angeles resident comes honestly by her fascination: Her father, pianist-arranger Don Ippolito, worked with the likes of Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughan and Dizzy Gillespie, while her mom, opera singer Johanna Dordick, also performed at night clubs and resorts. On her third jazz release, Brooks emphasizes the arrangements of four skilled writers — Otmaro Ruiz, Jeff Colella, Christian Jacob and Quinn Johnson. She seems to have a genuine affinity for material that conjures 1950s L.A., particularly on her reads of “Body and Soul,” “Angel Eyes” and a very moving version of “Guess Who I Saw Today.” From the same era but a quite different jukebox, Brooks delivers Hank Williams’ “Cold, Cold Heart,” our selection, as a finger-snapping mid-tempo swinger, the full complement of horns making it sound like a breezy, big-band number thanks to Johnson’s new chart.

You can listen to the track Cold Cold Heart below.

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