Sylvia Brooks - Live with Christian Jacob - Rhombus Records

If the American Songbook feels like a repository of timeless wisdom, it’s because jazz vocalists breathe new life into familiar tales, interpreting the music with visceral emotional immediacy. In the case of chanteuse Sylvia Brooks, the songs serve as a barometer, marking the increasing depth she plumbs. Her evolution is evident throughout her fifth album, which was recorded at Herb Albert’s Vibrato Jazz Grill. Revisiting material from earlier releases, Sylvia Brooks Live with Christian Jacob provides both a snapshot of an artist in full command and a revelatory index of the distance she’s traveled since her impressive 2009 debut Dangerous Liaisons. All About Jazz describes Brooks as a “Master Stylist.” With her new live album, Sylvia Brooks Live with Christian Jacob, one understands why. The path that led Sylvia Brooks back to her jazz roots provided her with plenty of dramatic stories to tell. Possessing a sumptuous, velvet-rich voice, she’s earned critical raves for each of her five albums.