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£7.99

Vocal Jazz - Released February 1, 2013 | Candid Productions Ltd.

Wrapping her sweet voice around songs by male singers she admires, Stacey Kent delivers another pleasant and low-key album with The Boy Next Door. Kent's tribute choices range from traditional pop (Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett) to mainstream jazz instrumentalists (Dave Brubeck, Dizzy Gillespie) to the softer side of rock (James Taylor, Simon and -- unmentioned in the liner notes -- Garfunkel). With a gentle conviction akin to early Blossom Dearie without the cheeky flair, the album makes for breezy listening. The 16 tracks don't differ enough in tone, making the album a bit too long, but individual moments of warm openhearted excellence make it worthwhile. The sentimentality of "Bookends" or "'Tis Autumn" suit her precious delivery well, while the sly moments of "Makin' Whoopee" feel out of the singer's reach. The bandmembers stay out of the way for the most part, waiting for their solos rather than interacting much with Kent. Drummer Matt Home's light but lively style is especially accommodating and guitarist Colin Oxley's percussive take on "Too Darn Hot" ends up being the album's greatest moment. ~ David Jeffries
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Vocal Jazz - Released May 30, 2011 | Candid Productions Ltd.

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Vocal Jazz - Released June 22, 2010 | Candid Productions Ltd.

£15.49

Jazz - Released September 3, 2007 | Parlophone France

Kent is what men used to call a classy broad. Her elegant fashion sense and understated vocal style make her sound like a woman from another time, an unflappable sophisticate with a warm, slightly world-weary persona. She was born in the United Sates but after a trip to France, she decided to become a jazz singer. In the early '90s she landed in Oxford where she met her husband, musical director/sax player Jim Tomlinson. Tomlinson also produces Kent's albums, and this time out, he composed several charming tunes that sound like potential standards, plus collaborations with lyricist Kazuo Ishiguro, author of Remains of the Day. Original tunes like "The Ice Hotel" and "I Wish I Could Go Traveling Again" are full of wry humor, and Kent delivers them with her usual effortless grace. "The Ice Hotel" is a samba that talks of forsaking the tropics for a room that keeps the temperature at a "steady five degrees." The ambivalent lyric is perfectly suited for Kent's unassuming style. Is she chiding a lover for his detached demeanor or promising a passionate night that will raise the temperature and put a sizzle in the air? It's hard to tell, and with the music is as warm as the lyric is cool, the tune has a delicious tension. "I Wish I Could Go Traveling Again" sounds like the kind of tune Noël Coward used to write, full of urbane humor and references to "overpriced hotels devoid of charm." Its melancholy meditation on lost love is enhanced by John Parricelli's rippling guitar and Graham Harvey's subtle bluesy piano. Kent slows down "What a Wonderful World" making it sound more blue than celebratory. Her wistful phrasing imbues the song with a painful melancholy. On "Hard Hearted Hanna," Tomlinson supplies a brief, breezy solo while Kent sounds sly and impudent, playing up the lyric's over the top humor. "Ces Petits Reins," a Serge Gainsbourg tune, benefits from a percussive arrangement featuring bongos, muted guitar notes, and drummer Matt Skelton's brush work; Kent drops in brief faux trumpet accents. Kent's band provides subtle support throughout. Each player steps out for brief impressive solos, but mainly they lay back and support their boss' unobtrusive style. ~ j. poet
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2003 | Candid Productions

Stacey Kent is back, with her regular combo, for an engaging tribute to Richard Rodgers. In addition to routinely covered songs like "It Never Entered My Mind" and "Bewitched," the Britain-based vocalist looks to the South Pacific book and comes up with two items seldom performed in a jazz context -- "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair" and "Bali Ha'i." Happily, these are two of the best cuts; the former, with its burlesque-ish 6/8 middle section, works amazingly well. The sound of the disc is strong, highlighting the nicely varied arrangements and the innate charm of Kent's puckish voice. There are a few downsides: a sluggish "Thou Swell," an aimless bossa nova reading of "It Might as Well Be Spring," and a general overabundance of ballads. But swinging tracks like "This Can't Be Love" and "My Heart Stood Still" (the latter spiced with tasty chord substitutions) make up for the lukewarm spots. ~ David R. Adler
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Jazz - Released July 29, 2013 | Parlophone Records Limited

The Changing Lights is another welcome addition to the back catalog of jazz vocalist Stacey Kent. Focusing on her love of Brazilian music, the album sees Kent delivering a collection of original and cover material mixing bossa nova with her usual smooth jazz style. The album includes collaborations with Portuguese poet Antonio Ladeira and French lyricist Bernie Beaupère.
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Blues - Released March 19, 2012 | Parlophone France

Featuring performances of Great American Songbook standards "The Best Is Yet to Come," "They Can't Take That Away from Me," and "It Might as Well Be Spring" alongside classic French chansons "Ces Petits Riens," "Samba Saravah," and "Jardin d'Hiver," Dreamer in Concert is the first live album from Grammy-nominated New Jersey jazz singer Stacey Kent. Recorded at La Cigale in Paris in May 2011, the 13-track collection also includes four previously unrecorded songs, including covers of Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Water of March" and "Dreamer," and two new compositions co-penned by saxophonist husband Jim Tomlinson with author Kazuo Ishiguro ("Postcard Lovers") and Portuguese poet Antonio Ladeira ("O Comboio"). ~ Jon O'Brien
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Vocal Jazz - Released November 16, 2009 | Candid Productions Ltd.

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Vocal Jazz - Released September 1, 2002 | Candid Productions

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Vocal Jazz - Released April 2, 2007 | Candid Productions

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Vocal Jazz - Released September 1, 1999 | Candid Productions

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Vocal Jazz - Released September 7, 1997 | Candid Productions

Stacey Kent has a very appealing voice, and her delivery is full of joy, enthusiasm, and subtle creativity. Sticking mostly to veteran standards on this CD (only "Sleep Warm" was written after the 1950s), Kent sounds delightful while joined by a fine mainstream quintet. Jim Tomlinson contributes some tenor solos reminiscent in tone of Stan Getz, and pianist David Newton and guitarist Colin Oxley also get some solo space. Such songs as "More Than You Know," "There's a Lull in My Life," "There's No You," and "Little White Lies" are all uplifted, making this a very easy CD to enjoy and Stacey Kent a voice to look for in the future. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released September 16, 2013 | Parlophone France

£2.49

Jazz - Released November 23, 2007 | Parlophone France

£7.99

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1910 | Candid Productions