Stacey Kent’s unique, distinctive style could best be described as classic chic; the musical equivalent of the ‘little black dress’. Just as the little black dress has the power to let a woman’s personality shine through, Ms Kent’s delicately nuanced interpretations of the Great American Songbook eloquently showcase the complex melodies and classy, sophisticated lyrics of American popular music during its golden ages.
Vocally, Ms Kent has never sounded better. And there is so much to admire: her dulcet-toned mezzo soprano, with its shimmery jazz lilt and translucent vibrato, her innate sense of swing and instinctive timing, her subtly shaded line readings, and the exquisite delicacy of her phrasing. A master storyteller and communicator, Ms Kent also brings a comparative literature graduate’s acute interpretive skills to her singing, eschewing shopworn sentimentality for a piquant romantic lyricism.
Ms Kent’s album, “The Boy Next Door”, is a heartfelt and reverent tribute to her musical heroes, which include legendary crooners Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, octogenarian jazz master Dave Brubeck and Manhattan cabaret doyen Bobby Short. The stylish jazz chanteuse’s repertoire also finds her working outside the Great American Songbook for the first time, with contributions from latter-day pop songwriters Burt Bacharach, Paul Simon and Carole King. Ms Kent puts her own indelible stamp on each number as she weaves her magic on a delectable collection of pop-jazz standards that encompass infatuation, seduction, love, loss and reminiscence.
Ms Kent receives impeccable support from her sleek, urbane jazz quintet, whose rhythmic fluency is further enhanced by the tasteful, literate arrangements. Newton and Tomlinson, both accomplished musicians in their own right, also display hitherto unknown musical talents as they join Curtis Schwartz to provide tongue-in-cheek backing vocals for Ms Kent’s deliciously bouncy rendition of “Ooh-Shoo-Be-Doo-Bee”.
2. The Boy Next Door
3. The Trolley Song
4. Que-Reste-T-II De Nos Amours?
2. Too Darn Hot
3. Makin’ Whoopee
4. What The World Needs Now Is Love
2. I Got It Bad
4. People Will Say We’re In Love
2. All I Do Is Dream of You
3. I Get Along Without You Very Well
4. You’re The Top
5. Que Feras-Tu De Ta Vie?