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Stacey Kent – Breakfast on the Morning Tram


Having previously demonstrated a knowing way with sets from the Great American Songbook and a special bent for Brazilian-flavored melodies, vocalist Stacey Kent takes on a different sort of mix here. And succeeds brilliantly, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who has been listening to her, for this porcelain princess has gradually moved into the front rank of current young singers. Her voice—is it mercury or is it clear water running over stones in a brook?—falls ever so easily on the ear, managing the neat feat of being as light as a butterfly yet emotionally substantial.

The opening tune, “The Ice Hotel, Kazuo Ishiguro and Jim Tomlinson’s newly-minted enigmatic gem, charms with her deliciously clear delivery. The title track is another newbie by Ishiguro-Tomlinson that has Kent painting a savvy word portrait of an Amsterdam morning. The more familiar “Never Let Me Go is typical of how skillfully she can wend her way through deeper moments while never losing her particular lightness.

Whether it’s the playfully French “Ces petits riens or the samba mood of Bergman-Mendes’ “So Many Stars, Kent’s a Lorelei to whom one surrenders unreservedly. By ANDREW VELEZ


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SKU: Pure Pleasure PPAN BST50161 [2] Categories: , , , Tags: , , ,


Stacey 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.


1. The Ice Hotel
2. Landslide
3. Ces Petits Riens
1. I Wish I Could Go Travelling Again
2. So Many Stars
3. Samba Saravah
1. Breakfast On The Morning Train
2. Never Let Me Go
3. So Romantic
1. Hard-Hearted Hannah
2. La Saison Des Pluies
3. What A Wonderful World


Additional information

Weight 0.760 kg
Dimensions 32.0 × 32.0 × 2.0 cm