CD Dreamsville [Stacey Kent] (CD 856067),
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Dreamsville [Stacey Kent]
1. I've Got a Crush on You
2. When Your Lover Has Gone
3. Isn't It a Pity?
4. You Are There
5. Under a Blanket of Blue
7. Polka Dots and Moonbeams
8. Hushabye Mountain
9. Little Girl Blue
10. You're Looking at Me
11. Violets for Your Furs
12. Thanks for the Memory
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 79775
Personnel: Stacey Kent (vocals); Jim Tomlinson (tenor saxophone, flute, clarinet); David Newton (piano); Colin Oxley (guitar); Simon Thorpe (bass); Jasper Kviberg (drums).
Recorded at Curtis Schwartz Studios, Ardingly, England from June 19-21, 2000.
Personnel: Stacey Kent (vocals); Jim Tomlinson (flute, clarinet, tenor saxophone).
Audio Mixer: Curtis Schwartz .
Recording information: Curtis Schwartz Studios, Ardingly, England (06/19/2000-06/21/2000).
Arrangers: Jim Tomlinson; Stacey Kent.
Vocalist Stacey Kent may or may not be "the greatest ballad singer in half a century," as her PR claims, but her straightforward renditions of these by-request ballads are not at all generic. What makes them consistently delightful is her unique sound and delivery. There's a certain brassiness, a trumpet-like pointedness, in her voice, as well as a host of endearing idiosyncrasies. Listen to her pronounce the word "idea" in George and Ira Gershwin's "Isn't It a Pity?" Or deliver these remarkable lyrics from the same song: "What joys untasted!/You, reading Heine/Me, somewhere in China." And later, "My nights were sour, spent with Schopenhauer." Kent knows how to make every tune fit her own musical persona. Dreamsville includes a number of seldom-heard gems, particularly "You Are There" by Johnny Mandel and Dave Frishberg, "You're Looking at Me" by Bobby Troup, and the ever-stunning title track by Henry Mancini. She also presents perennial favorites like "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" and "Thanks for the Memory" (the latter not exactly a ballad). And although this is Kent's hour all the way, her band provides expert backing and more than a few surprises. The singer's husband, Jim Tomlinson, takes a break from tenor sax to play a sumptuous clarinet solo on "Polka Dots." And in the midst of Rodgers & Hart's "Little Girl Blue," pianist David Newton, bassist Simon Thorpe, and drummer Jasper Kviberg fall away, entering again only after Tomlinson and Colin Oxley perform a hushed tenor/guitar duet chorus. ~ David R. Adler
Down Beat (12/01, p.70) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Solidifies her position among the best of today's sultry mistresses of the American songbook..."
JazzTimes (4/2002, pp.93-94) - "...Sticking exclusively to familiar standards...she insists...that she wants to be regarded as simply a keen interpreter of the Great American Songbook. To that end, she succeeds..."
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