by J Pepper
Italian born, and American raised Sylvia Bennett is a Grammy nominated international recording artist and song-writer who has performed at Presidential Inaugurations and opened for such renowned artists as Bob Hope, Phyllis Diller, Jackie Mason, Dizzy Gillespie, Barry Gibb and David Brenner. Discovered by the legendary Lionel Hampton, she has since captivated audiences and critics alike with her formidable darkly hued tones and seductive blend of jazz and pop.
It’s the holiday season – ooh – ah! Yes, it is, and thankfully one I look forward to each year. Though there are cynics all around, this writer loves the holiday cheer and the new renditions at the holiday table I get to spring on all. Good news; you too can be in-the-know. Sylvia Bennett is back with a single this year entitled “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” featuring special guest Paul Brown.
What shall we expect? Well, big production values for one, Bennett certainly is as golden as ever, with Paul Brown as a vocal foil, the two create a soulful version of the classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” that will be an added value to any holiday soundtrack collection. Bennett’s key to success is she understands the value of truly singing a song, hers is not a pyrotechnics approach, but one that comes for the rat pack era of getting into the marrow of a song, and allowing the listener to attach themselves to the moment, which is what lasting vocalists are all about, the listener first.
Paul Brown guests on this track and the term Renaissance Man is certainly a term well used in Brown’s bio. Paul Brown’s four-decade journey through the world of pop, R&B and jazz is one of taste a style. Starting as a drummer, he became an engineer for R&B legends (Diana Ross, Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin) before evolving into a two-time Grammy winning urban jazz producer (with over 60 #1 radio airplay hits) and finally a popular guitarist, artist, and performer in his own right. So, what does this dynamic talent add up to? Well, this is one great listen, and as mentioned above. Add it to you holiday playlist, you will thank me later folks. It hits the spot. Two formidable talents on one track, reminds me of great duos like Streisand and Gibbs, this one will stand the test of time.