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13,530 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 948 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (July 31).

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

CD Review: Stacey Kent – The Changing Lights.

Stacey Kent (vcl); Graham Harvey (pno); John Parricelli, Roberto Menesal (gtr); Jeremy Brown (bs); Jim Tomlinson (ten/fl); Matt Home, John Morrison (dms)
(Review by Debra M.)
Stacey Kent’s tenth album, The Changing  Lights,  stems from her love of Brazil and its music, an obsession that began as a teenager, when she discovered the bossa novas of Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto. The album is a mix of Latin standards and Jim Tomlinson collaborations with writer Kazuo Ishiguro, and poets Antonio Ladeira and Bernie Beaupere.
The legendary Brazilian guitarist Roberto Menescal also guests on his own composition ‘O Barquinho’, and on the Tomlinson/Ladeira song  ‘A Tarde’. The  intention was to recreate the feeling of ‘saudade’ , a Portuguese word with no English counterpart, which Kent describes as a vague nostalgia directed towards what one has lost as well as towards what one has never had.. 
These sentiments are encapsulated in the title track, where  Ishiguro’s  ‘changing  lights’  are symbolic in  recollections of times gone by with a former lover, triggered by a chance street encounter. His lyrics also impress in ‘The Summer We Crossed Europe in The Rain, and  in ‘Waiter, Oh Waiter’, a light hearted take on the problems of deciphering the menu in an expensive restaurant. Kent’s conversational, whimsical delivery is reminiscent of Blossom Dearie entertaining the supper clubs of New York. Yet she sounds most at ease in the rhythmic, lilting ‘One Note Samba’ , initially sung accompanied only by drums, then featuring upbeat solos  and interplay by Graham Harvey on piano & Tomlinson on flute.
Stacey’s light, warm voice and precise intonation particularly suits the melodic phrasing and rhythms of Latin music, and Jim Tomlinson’s careful arrangements are sympathetic to her understated, subtle style.  This multilingual project is a natural progression of Stacey Kent’s musical journey, and will no doubt appeal to her established international audience.  However, it is unlikely to satisfy those who prefer more vocal dynamism and improvisation. How insensitive…..
Stacey Kent – The    Changing Lights is due for release by Parlophone on Sept. 16.
Debra M.

4 comments :

Anonymous said...

More pretentious waffle from the Olive Oyl of song!

Jim Oxley

Debra Milne said...

I (hopefully) presume you are referring to Ms Kent...

Anonymous said...

Play nice Jim,

Dom C

lupo said...

I would not call it pretentious, although the recording is probably uber-polished and it misses on the carefree spirit of Brazilian music. However, Stacey Kent is elegant, subtle and charming as ever. Probably too precise for her own good

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