What happens when established artists grow out of their old skin? Put this disc into your music player and find out.
Breakfast On the Morning Tram is the musical equivalent of a growth spurt. With the important assistance of novelist, and now lyricist, Kazuo Ishiguro, Stacey Kent and her permanent sidekick/producer/music director, Jim Tomlinson, have moved to a new place. This disc, Stacey's first for Blue Note, marks the spot.
One easy way to describe the change is to note what is not on this record: no Gershwin or Porter, no Rogers or Berlin, no Carmichael or Ellington. The Great American Songbook that has been the source of most Stacey Kent material since her recording career began a decade ago, is represented here only by three songs out of a dozen. Yet all the songs on this album are cousins of the great Songbook songsthey all seem to inhabit the same musical world, as Jim Tomlinson put it to me. They all tell stories, usually wistfully, something Stacey loves to do; they all make you think about love and loving; they all (if my experience is any indicator) stick in your head after just a few listenings. Most important, they all help Stacey show off her very best stuff. No Stacey Kent fan will be shocked by this recordthey are much more likely to be delighted by it. She has never sounded better.
Stacey sings three songs here in French, two lesser-known love songs by the late Serge Gainsbourg and a famous samba from the 1966 French film A Man and a Woman, written by the Brazilians Baden Powell and Vinicius de Moraes, with a French lyric by Pierre Barouh. If youre old enough to remember the movie, youll recognize the song at once.
Stacey sings one Fleetwood Mac song from the 1970s written by Stevie Nicks, Landslide, and makes it her own. And then there are three from the Songbook: Hard Hearted Hannah, Never Let Me Go and What A Wonderful World. On the latter, Stacey quietly enters a world previously inhabited by Louis Armstrong. By my lights her version is as powerful as Satchmos.
"This label debut confounds expectations that the singer would spend her whole career producing one finely crafted American Songbook set after another. Husband Jim Tomlinson has produced a delightful post- Peyroux album of warm acoustic jazz-pop full of gentle surprises and exotic touches. Tomlinson's four originals co-written with Kazuo Ishiguro are modest marvels of jazzy elegance." - 4 Stars - Mojo, December 2007
"This jazz disc is vocalist Stacey Kent's first recording project for Blue Note, and it's a thoroughly captivating debut." - Billboard, October 2007
"This vinyl re-mastering of Breakfast On The Morning Tram is a perfect vehicle for Kent and her silky voice. Despite the higher pitch, there is great richness and texture. The guitars (both acoustic and electric) have a fuller resonance and complexity. As usual, the glossy packaging and gatefold cover are first-rate." - Robbie Gerson, www.audaud.com, 4/5 Stars!!
180g Double Vinyl
Pressed at Pallas in Germany
Stacey Kent - voice
Graham Harvey - piano and Fender Rhodes;
John Parricelli - guitars
Dave Chamberlain - double bass
Matt Skelton - drums and percussion
Jim Tomlinson - tenor sax, alto sax, soprano sax, flute
LP1 - Side A:
1. The Ice Hotel
3. Ces Petits Riens
LP1 - Side B:
1. I Wish I Could Go Travelling Again
2. So Many Stars
3. Samba Saravah
LP2 - Side C:
1. Breakfast On the Morning Tram
2. Never Let Me Go
3. So Romantic
LP2 - Side D:
1. Hard-Hearted Hannah
2. La Saison des Pluies
3. What A Wonderful World
Recorded at Curtis Schwartz Studios, England, March - April 2007. Mastered by Curtis Schwartz.
All arrangements by Jim Tomlinson.