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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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STACEY KENT

The Changing Lights

Parlophone 466226

 

 

  1. This Happy Madness

  2. The Summer We Crossed Europe in the Rain

  3. One Note Samba (Samba De Uma Nota So)

  4. Mais Uma Vez

  5. Waiter, Oh Waiter

  6. O Barquinho

  7. The Changing Lights

  8. How Insensitive

  9. O Bebado E A Equilibrista/Smile

  10. Like a Lover

  11. The Face I Love

  12. A Tarde

  13. Chanson Legere

 

Stacey Kent – Vocals, guitar (track 8)

Jim Tomlinson – Tenor sax, soprano sax, flute

Graham Harvey – Piano, Fender Rhodes

Roberto Menescai – Guitar (tracks 6, 12)

John Parricelli – Guitar (tracks 2-5, 7, 10, 13)

Jeremy Brown – Double bass

Matt Home – Drums (tracks 1, 7, 8, 11)

Joshua Morrison – Drums (tracks 2-5,10,13)

Raymundo Bittencourt – Ganza (track 6)

 

Stacey Kent is, apparently, fluent in several languages. On her CD Raconte-Moi she sang in French. Here she repeats the exercise on the final track of her new album but also ventures into Brazilian music and therefore, at times, sings in Portuguese. In addition, there are three tracks featuring lyrics by the novelist Kazuo Ishiguro who contributed to Stacey’s Breakfast on the Morning Tram CD. Apart from a minor galaxy of Brazilian songwriters (Tom Jobim et al), husband Jim Tomlinson supplies six tunes for the disc, three of them collaborations with Ishiguro.

The session musicians are a talented bunch. Tomlinson, of course, with his restrained ‘cool-school’ style of tenor playing is prominent. He shows his versatility on One Note Samba, Waiter, Oh Waiter, and Like A Lover where he plays the flute, and on O Bebado E A Equilibrista/Smile where he contributes a fluent soprano sax over Graham Harvey’s stylish piano, before the segue into Kent’s version of Smile. Harvey shows what a stellar keyboard player he is throughout, giving typically fine support, for instance, on Mais Uma Vez. John Parricelli is a highly gifted guitar player – try The Changing Lights to hear an example of his mellow approach, though I did like also Roberto Menescal’s accompaniment to Kent on A Tarde (a Tomlinson tune). Jeremy Brown has an expressive bass solo on Mais Uma Vez, while Joshua Morrison’s drumming stands out on One Note Samba.

Kent herself is on fine form, as ever articulating lyrics beautifully. I especially liked her One Note Samba, Like a Lover (a strong piece of writing which positively flows along and which Kent sings with relish) and the jaunty Waiter, Oh Waiter. The Face I Love, after a slow and sentimental beginning, picks up the tempo and becomes a lilting song. She offers a sultry, occasionally wistful, rendering of Mais Uma Vez and is always at home with ballads. Her style is very much jazz-inflected, verging on easy listening. Perhaps that’s why she has been compared in The New York Times to Blossom Dearie. This CD (her tenth) will appeal to all Kent’s fans but to any who enjoy gentle Latin music impeccably presented.

James Poore



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