Stacey Kent may well be the most versatile American vocalist to grace the stage in fifty years.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Singers are a dime a dozen, Stacey Kent is a vocal artist with the innate ability to tell a story that magically transports the listener to another place and time. Stacey Kent is a vocal artist. The Changing Lights is a vibrant cultural canvas on which she paints her own unique interpretation of bossa nova classics as well as evocative originals presented in English, French & Portuguese. Stacey moves effortlessly around the self imposed limitations of genre and lyrical expectations to offer an organic presentation with a melodic pulse capturing Brazilian music in a lyrical life force defying adequate description. Improvisational intimacy.
The compositions are for the most part familiar while the meticulous execution and presentation are not. A pure Brazilian release, no. An organic release that embraces the bright and breezy rhythms of Brazil along with ethereal new compositions that still contain a deceptively subtle Brazilian flair that transforms the traditional into a more contemporary cool version of perhaps the most influential music to cross geographic as well as cultural boundaries. Stacey's command of French and Portuguese is far from a phonetic riff, this is a true vocal artist that embraces her fluent linguistic skills while never missing a melodic beat in transferring an organic emotive quality to her vocals. Some would say you would need to be a Latin aficionado to appreciate a recording such as this or perhaps walked a similar bilingual path, nonsense. Kent's vocals transcend genre and other such limitations with impeccable phrasing, timing and intonation. The voice is smooth and light yet manipulates articulation in a deceptively subtle jazz sexy fashion that elevates her skills far past the ordinary and into an extraordinary real of harmonic sensitivity.
"One Note Samba" along with the original "The Changing Lights" and the Nelson Matta tune "Like A Lover" elevate this recording to that of one that will be discussed and passed around between friends for years. Those not familiar with Stacey Kent would be advised to get hip.
Stacey Kent is a breath of fresh air!
Tracks; This Happy Madness; The Summer We Crossed Europe In The Rain; One Note Samba; Mais Uma Ves; Waiter, Oh Waiter; O Barquinho; The Changing Lights; How Insensitive; O Bebado E A Equilibrista / Smile; Like A Lover; The Face I Love; A Tarde; Chanson Legere; Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars; Meditation.
Personnel: Stacey Kent: Vocals, Guitar (8); Jim Tomlinson: Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax & Flute; Graham Harvey: Piano & Fender Rhodes; John Parricelli: Guitar (2,3,4,5,7,10,13,15); Roberto Menescal; Guitar (6,12); Jeremy Brown: Double Bass; Matt Home: Drums (1,7,8,11); Joshua Morrison: Drums (2,3,4,5,10,13,15); Raymundo Bittencourt: Ganza (6).