Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Close Your Eyes
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
The Debut Album from the Ex-patriot American Singer (She Lives in England) Harkens Comparisons with the Ella Fitzgerald's Impeccable Style, but Kent is Forging Ground that She Can Call her Own. Her Delivery and Attack of a... more »
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The Debut Album from the Ex-patriot American Singer (She Lives in England) Harkens Comparisons with the Ella Fitzgerald's Impeccable Style, but Kent is Forging Ground that She Can Call her Own. Her Delivery and Attack of a Note is Spot On, her Performances Are Exciting and Vivacious. An Outstanding Debut from a Singer Whose Talent Promises Many More Volumes to Come.
WOW!! Why haven't I heard of her before ???
M. Saunders | Hermitage, TN United States | 07/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sometimes you get surprised. A while ago I was in purchasing an addition to the stereo system and the salesman demo'd using a Stacey Kent CD. My jaw dropped. Instantly. I honestly don't remember which CD, so I gambled and picked up 'Close Your Eyes'. I've heard (and own) Diana Krall and Holly Cole (both great), considered Jane Monheit (jury is still out for me), occasionally delve into the coolness of Patricia Barber, but I gotta tell ya, Stacey doesn't have to take a back seat to any of these. There is this hard-to-define "something" in her voice and approach to the song that makes one stop dead in their tracks and go "whoa". Maybe the other reviewers can identify it. I'm not sure it's something definable in print.As for the CD, I'll admit to liking the vocalist + quartet/quintent approach used on this album more than the typical singer + trio approach. Vocally, Stacey isn't as 'whispery' a stylist as, say, Diana Krall, but I like them both quite a bit for different reasons. Diana tends to be a bit more intimate and dreamy, Stacey a bit brighter and flirty. Both excellent, but very different sounds.Staceys' sidemen just swing the house down, especially her pianist David Newton, and although I usually am not a big tenor sax fan, I certainly am on this one, with utterly superb work from Jim Tomlinson (who reminds me strongly of Stan Getz). Add in solid drumming, rhythm guitar and bass playing from cats who can hold their own with most anybody, top it off with a shimmering, gorgeous, uniquely styled & perfectly pitched voice, and you have a winner. After a few listens, I now must say this CD goes in my "stranded on an island" collection without any doubts.If you're a fan of the aforementioned singers, you seriously need to check this one out. Highly, highly recommended. (Recording quality is pretty good too, very natural and unforced.)"
Quality debut from a brilliant jazz singer
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 12/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Stacey was born and raised in New York but moved to London and it was there that she embarked on a career as a jazz singer. Stacey is now a major name in British jazz and a new album release from her is always something to look forward to. Stacey claims Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Mildred Bailey among her influences, but her voice is more like Mildred's than the other two.This debut album is a great showcase for Stacey's talents, with plenty of great covers of standards from the Great American Songbook, on which Stacey is backed by some of the finest musicians on the British jazz scene. Among the classics (mainly ballads) on this album are two Cole Porter songs (Dream dancing, It's de-lovely) and two co-written by Johnny Mercer (I'm old-fashioned, Day in day out), together with six other excellent songs. Stacey interprets the songs her way - superbly.Experts will tell you that Stacey has perfected her craft with subsequent albums, but by my reckoning there really wasn't all that much room for improvement. This is a great jazz vocal album."
"Close Your Eyes" and "Sleep Warm"
Rebecca*rhapsodyinblue* | CA USA | 06/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""What makes Stacey Kent so remarkable is her "sound" -- the word usually applied to jazz instrumentalists to encompass tone quality and the manipulation of it. The voice itself is an impressive instrument, in pitch and timbre, coming closer to Mildred Bailey than to her acknowledged idols Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. Strong and clear, it has the invigorating tang of Vermouth." ~ Humphrey Lyttelton ~
I have enjoyed Stacey Kent's impressive CDs with repeated listening over the years. And I have written reviews for such CDs, but it dawned on me that I haven't written one for her most significant album of all-time, her gorgeous debut album, "Close Your Eyes." So it's only fair to write a review on this one.
Humphrey Lyttelton perfectly said it - all the strong points of Stacey Kent that makes her a jazz singer extraordinaire. And this debut CD proves it all. In June of 1997, it became the "CD of the Month" for Jazzwise, the leading and biggest-selling jazz magazine in Britain. This album promises a lovely listening adventure with its ten classic standards in the repertoire starting off with a dreamy rendition of a meaningful song, "More Than You Know," which highlights an enchanting guitar work of Colin Oxley, down to the last track, "Day In Day Out," an engaging light swing number.
The title track "Close Your Eyes" has a warm and cozy Bossa Nova rhythm that makes it so charming and pleasing to my appreciative ears. Jim Tomlinson's elegant sax playing is so magical and a pleasure to listen to. And same is true with the exceptional musicianship of the rest of her quintet - Colin Oxley (guitar), David Newton (piano), Andrew de Jong Cleyndert (bass) and Steve Brown (drums).
The swinging side of Ms. Kent is evident in her renditions of Cole Porter classics, "It's De-Lovely" and "Dream Dancing" where she is pretty at ease with the winning arrangements. She gives "I'm Old Fashioned" a stunning revival that this gem from Jerome Kern and Johnny Mercer so deserves. She shows off her most pensive self as she sings a seldom-recorded song but a nice one, "There's No You" from the inspired pens of Hal Hopper and Tom Adair.
Ms. Kent's impressive voice blends artfully with David Newton's tastefully executed piano accompaniment on one of the best tracks from this set, "You Go To My Head." I'm always delighted to listen to this kind of intimate setting with only a piano accompaniment where both artists are given the chance to shine together. It is such a captivating combination.
"Sleep Warm" is a rarity and a special treat to my ears. It's a "goodnight" song composed by Lew Spence and penned by husband-and-wife songwriting team of Alan and Marilyn Bergman. Frank Sinatra also recorded this song so beautifully on his loneliest album ever, Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely.
Before you "close your eyes" and "sleep warm," I suggest you to give this CD a listen and enjoy! I can guarantee that it's a lovely listen.
With my heartfelt recommendation.