Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
So why take a look at a release from 2011? I may be one of the few critics that believes good music doesn't have an expiration date...and this is really good!
The sorority of female singers working the jazz genre is tightly clustered pack of those whose career will ultimately wind up singing poorly arranged covers at the local Marriott during happy hour and those that are able to somehow get their hands on enough cash to put out a record of covers in an effort to phone in their talent for a quick pay day. Stacey Kent is one of the half dozen or so female vocal artists that can crawl inside a song and deliver an intimate performance that takes the listener along for a unique emotional journey. Hushabye Mountain is a collection of favorites that are delivered with an elegant subtlety of organic sophistication.
You know the tunes, "Too Darn Hot" along with "It Might As Well Be Spring" and "Thou Swell." The arrangements are deconstructed yet swing with a buoyant spirit and celebration of what has long been missing from most jazz singers wheelhouse - melody! Stellar arrangements only work if the vocal artist has their phrasing and tone spot on and this is where Kent excels. A unique tone combined with the ability to play catch and release with a note makes female vocal jazz sexy again. Delightfully understated with nuanced flavors, Stacey Kent is one of the premier vocalists of our time.
Tracks: Too Darn Hot; All I Do Is Dream Of You; Say It Isn't So; Hushabye Mountain; Thou Swell; It Might As Well Be Spring; My Heart Stood Still; Polka Dots And Moonbeams; Under A Blanket Of Blue; Close Your Eyes.