Born: May 18
Numerous artists have paged through the Great American Songbook. And then there’s Sylvia Brooks, whose warmth and charm, combined with a commanding stage presence and sonic clarity have set her head-and-shoulders above the rest. A Florida native, creativity and classic musicianship are in her blood. The combination of her father, a jazz stalwart, playing with such giants as Stan Getz, Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughan and Dizzie Gillespie, and her mother, a trained opera singer, who also dazzled audiences at the Fontainebleau and the Eden Roc, left little doubt that Sylvia’s growth as an artist in her own right would see her come to embody that unique parentage. ...
- Restless by Jim Olin
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Sylvia Brooks has the look of a classic Hollywood femme fatale, suggesting an auburn-haired variation on Veronica Lake with a hint of Rita Hayworth. And Brooks sings precisely the way she looks, a dark, smoky sound with impressive firepower that seems tailor-made for the sort of plush, palm-treed nightclubs that dotted L.A. in the 1940s and ’50s. Those intimate boîtes, spots like Ciro’s, The Tally-Ho, The Encore and the richly historied Cocoanut Grove, are gone now, but Brooks is rapidly emerging as an SRO favorite at the chic venues that have replaced them, including Catalina’s, the Jazz Bakery and Vitello’s Jazz and Supper Club.
Now, with the release of Brooks’ debut CD, the aptly titled Dangerous Liaisons, the wider world can share Los Angelinos’ discovery of her alluring sultriness...