- Recording Artist, present
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Sylvia Brooks Explores the Noir Side of Jazz in
New CD Release Restless
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA Acclaimed jazz vocalist Sylvia Brooks returns with her second genre-busting release Restless, exploring the hungers that haunt us, the passions that drive us and the compulsions that send us careening deliciously close to the edge of the abyss.
Initial discussions with arranger and producer Kim Richmond brought forth several ideas. “I wanted to take a set of songs—this set of songs—and give them more of an urban, street-like feel.” Recalling an incident several years ago that saw her confined to a hospital in New York City, she speaks of the totality of the experience in musical terms. Of the jangly, dissonant pulse of the city, the ambulances whizzing by at 3:00am, the clickity-clack of stilettos on the sidewalks below, the heaving sighs of the concrete canyons as they purge and are purged of their human contents…
From the stirrings of “’Round Midnight,” the album’s concept began to come together. “I wanted people to feel the complete surrender to that kind of barren loneliness, to use instrumentation to bring around that feel of the streets of the City, and bring out the steel of pain and emptiness built into these songs.” And in exploring the ambiguities and contrasts, the staggering highs and desolate lows, the fragilities and desperate yearnings, inherent in such songs as “Last Tango,” “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams,” and “You’re My Thrill,” she seeks to impart that tactility to her listeners.
Utilizing a wide range of instruments—violins, harmonica, accordion, French horns, percussion, guitars and more—and Sylvia’s fascination with the secrets that lie beneath, the collection began to coalesce into a new and unique mash-up blending art, film and pure musicianship she calls “Jazz Noir.”
As Richmond began to write, and the two started the process of putting the music and instrumentation together, one by one, each of the 11 tracks on Restless came to represent a complete experience, a self-contained vignette
with a richly satisfying emotional core, tales of decadence and decay, seduction and manipulation, release and ruin and the beautiful victims such devastation leaves in its wake.
The album’s release will coincide with a complete redesign and relaunch of Sylvia’s website, www.sylviabrooks.net, with greatly expanded content, both audio and video. So pour yourself into a gimlet state-of-mind, where the brighter the sunshine, the darker the night, and a raven-haired seductress sinks her hooks in you and the pain is so exquisite, you dare not tear yourself away. Then see just how far a song can take you…
A complete track listing is as follows:
1. ‘Round Midnight
2. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
3. You Go To My Head
5. Last Tango
6. Be Cool
7. Blue Alert
8. Blues In The Night
9. You’re My Thrill
10. Stormy Weather
11. I’m A Fool To Want You
- American Conservatory TheaterActing, Voice and Dance, 2012