Donna Brooks

I'll Take Romance

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New York comedy and cabaret singer-cum-jazz vocalist Donna Brooks is heard here on her third recorded outing for the Dawn label, and her first true full-length. Recorded in 1956, the smoky, sultry-voiced Brooks has a delivery that is a dead cross between Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington. With a fronting band of a generic piano trio, Brooks is nonetheless a fine interpreter of modern jazz song. Here she covers the Kaye/Mossman classic "Full Moon And Empty Arms," Mel Torme's "A Stranger In Town," Rodgers and Hart's "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," Cole Porter's "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To," and the Martin & Blane nugget "An Occasional Man," and infuses them with a beautifully haunting femme fatale quality, with a perfect ear for nuance and color, and stunning pronunciation and articulation. The other selections on the set are as satisfying, if not as remarkable. In all, a fine debut with a show of promise that was never realized.

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