The American, Anglo- and Francophile singer has been making records for 15 years now and with each one she manages to make the tricky task of conveying a lyric and a melody in a fresh way sound more effortless.
It’s making things look easy that is often the most difficult, and in that regard Kent is one of the most elegant swans on the jazz lake, with precise enunciation whatever the language – English, French and Portuguese on this CD – and that characteristic menthol tone. If voices were clothes hers would be the meticulously-cut little black dress.
A recent live album with Marcos Valle in Rio De Janeiro has rekindled her love for Brazilian music and there are a goodly number of bossa novas here, including the Gene Lees/Vinicius de Moraes/Tom Jobim opener , This Happy Madness, and other Jobim classics like One Note Samba and How Insensitive, as well as Valle’s The Face I Love and the gorgeous Nelson Motta/Dori Caymmi song that I first fell in love with sung by Brazil 66, Like A Lover.
Also here are new songs written by regular Kent collaborators, the novelist Kazuo Ishiguro and Stacey’s saxophonist Jim Tomlinson, the title track being the most striking, and thoroughly appropriate with its international travel theme and Brazilian musical mood.
All in all it’s a classy collection. Here is a taster:
Stacey Kent is starting a UK tour and her live dates are:
Tomorrow: The Stables, Wavendon
26 Sept: Bury Met Theatre, Bury
29 Sept: Malvern Theatre, Malvern
30 Sept – 4 Oct: Ronnie Scott’s, London
5-6 Oct: Maidstone Pizza Express, Maidstone
20 Oct: Dundee Repertory Theatre, Dundee
22 Oct: Solihull Arts Complex, Solihull
25 Oct: Southend Jazz Festival, Southend (with London Jazz Symphonia)
27 Oct: Tivoli Theatre, Wimbourne
9 Nov: Landmark Centre, Teddington
10 Nov: Cambridge Arts Theatre, Cambridge
Categories: CD review