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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stacey Kent Enjoys Her Growth
British-American singer Stacey Kent's new album, "Breakfast On The Morning Tram," shows the youthful jazz chanteuse with the sweet, yet strong voice, to be enjoying unprecedented growth in her career. She's put together a bigger band, with a number of talented musicians, and she's allowed them lots of room to stretch on this disk. She has also, for the first time,...
Published on October 29, 2007 by Stephanie De Pue

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16 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK - but missed the boat
Stacey is one of my favoite singers and she does a nice job on vocals with great arrangements. I just feel it is too bad that she chose this direction of new songs for her break out CD on a major label. Some of these are nice -maybe two or three would be OK- but not selecting many of the fantastic songs from the "Great American Song Book" is a big disapointment.
Published on October 12, 2007 by John W. Morrison


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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stacey Kent Enjoys Her Growth, October 29, 2007
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Breakfast on the Morning Tram (Audio CD)
British-American singer Stacey Kent's new album, "Breakfast On The Morning Tram," shows the youthful jazz chanteuse with the sweet, yet strong voice, to be enjoying unprecedented growth in her career. She's put together a bigger band, with a number of talented musicians, and she's allowed them lots of room to stretch on this disk. She has also, for the first time, recorded original compositions: this album has only three songs from the Great American Songbook, on which she had so successfully relied until now. She has also moved on from her first recording label, the small independent Candid, to the prestigious jazzy Blue Note.

Kent, who was born in South Orange, New Jersey, met her talented husband, saxophonist, now producer/arranger/composer, Jim Tomlinson, with whom she works, while both were students at London's 125 year old Guildhall School of Music and Drama. The singer, whose clear voice and delivery lie somewhere between the flirtatious sound of Norah Jones, and the ever-popular smoky barroom sound now delivered by Diana Krall and Claire Martin, among others, was initially championed by British critic and jazz trumpeter Humphrey Lyttelton. She credits Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Nancy Wilson, and Cannonball Adderley as the biggest influences on her work. She has won the 2001 British Jazz Award, and the 2002 British Broadcasting Corporation Jazz Award for Best Vocalist. She has a large, devoted following that should be pleased by her newest release.

"Breakfast" gives more than a nod to France, where Kent did post-graduate work, and is exceedingly popular: she was, in fact, signed by the Paris office of Blue Note. The French gave the 2006 "Boy Next Door" Gold Album status within six months of its release. They've greeted "Breakfast" by giving it, within six weeks of its release, Top #20 status on the general charts, and Top #10 status on the jazz charts; they've also given it an enthusiastic sell-out audience at Paris's legendary Olympia Music Hall. The new album includes two songs Kent identifies as her personal favorites from the works of the French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, "Ces Petits Riens," and "La Saison des Pluies." It also includes a cover of that rhythmic tune from "Un Homme et Une Femme," (that'll be "A Man and A Woman," to us), "Samba Saravah," by Pierre Barouh.

"So Many Stars" is another lilting samba on this Latin-tinged record, music by the Brazilian Sergio Mendes, words by the American powerhouse duo Marilyn and Alan Bergman. In addition, Kent covers "Landslide," by Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, in tribute to the Colorado Rockies, where she and Tomlinson enjoy spending their down time. "Never Let Me Go," "Hard Hearted Hannah," and "Wonderful World" are from the Great American Songbook that's served the singer so well.

Finally, "Breakfast" boasts four unusual, outstanding new compositions, all with lyrics by British Booker Prize winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, who wrote the liner notes for the 2003 release "In Love Again," and music by Tomlinson, with whose saxophone Kent sings in delicious close harmony. These songs, the Latin-grooving "Ice Hotel," the title song, "I Wish I Could Go Travelling Again," and "So Romantic," allow Kent's whispering voice to suggest, as Ishiguro has noted, almost a private, inner conversation, with its hesitations and asides, that remains close to the rhythms, inflections, and informalities of everyday speech. But then, so many of her listeners feel that Kent is singing for them alone, telling a wistful story, as she likes to do. Famous jazz lover Clint Eastwood asked her to perform at his 70th birthday party. Most of us can't quite afford that, unfortunately, but I've been lucky enough to catch her a few times in her month-long stands at New York's esteemed Algonquin Hotel: and, yes, she's also played Carnegie Hall. You want to catch her if you can.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great mix of songs, December 18, 2007
This review is from: Breakfast on the Morning Tram (Audio CD)
I heard the song "I Wish I Could Go Traveling Again" while driving on the Freeway in San Jose, CA and suddenly I was taken to a different place. I was just grateful there was a decent jazz station in the area. While that song convinced me to buy the album (which I did on Amazon that evening), I heard another song ("Landslide") from the same album back in NY on WBGO. When the DJ said it was Stacey Kent from her new album "Breakfast on the Morning Tram", I KNEW I had picked a winner. A few days later when I received the CD, the song mix confirmed my expectations - a GREAT mix of songs by a vocalist who doesn't blast the notes, but still gives me the shivers. Stacey - way to go !
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This dynamic duo has done it again!, October 7, 2007
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This review is from: Breakfast on the Morning Tram (Audio CD)
After waiting with wild anticipation for this release, I have to say that I was not disappointed. I really enjoy the wide range of songs on this release; it is refreshing to hear some original songs as well as a few standards. Ms. Kent's amazing voice has never been better. After listening to it, I fall in love with these songs more and more. Mr. Ishiguro's contributions make "Ice Hotel" such a great song. (the more I listen to it, the more I understand the deeper meaning of it). I agree that Ms. Kent seems so at ease on this release. Her arrangement of "Landslide" sounds better than the original. I just love the variety of French and English. My only regret is that there were not more solos of Mr. Tomlinson's, as I really enjoy his sax playing. Just a sweet, sweet release that will surprise many with the originals. I just hope we don't have to wait long for her next release. I can never get enough. BRAVO to Ms. Kent and Mr. Tomlinson.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stacey Kent's Best (IMO), October 26, 2007
This review is from: Breakfast on the Morning Tram (Audio CD)
Stacey Kent is a huge hit in the U.K., and with her angelic voice, it's no wonder.

She has made her mark her in the States as well, though not with quite the success enjoyed across the pond. Perhaps this c.d. will change things. IMO, it is her best.

Ms. Kent has been known previously as a standards singer, but on this--her debut on Blue Note--she branches out. Ironically, with the inclusion of some "originals" (well, music by her husband and saxophone bandmate, Jim Tomlinson, and novelist Kazuo Ishiguro), she reveals herself as one of the finest interpreters of modern song around.

In particular, the highlight for me is her treatment of the Bergmans' "So Many Stars." IMO, this is the finest cover ever of that great song. Ms. Kent hits just the right note of regret--not overdramatic, but definitely there.

But there are other delights to savor on this disc. I love: the sly nudge and wink on "The Ice Hotel"; the finger-snappin' cool on "Ces petits Riens"; the jazzy, cosmopolitan feel on the title track; the light, dancing quality of "Samba Saravah"; and the state of bliss on "What a Wonderful World" (with John Parricelli's guitar a major contributor to that state). And this disc is probably the only time--outside of a barbershop quartet convention--that you'll hear the novelty song from the '20's, "Hard-Hearted Hannah." Like everything else here, it works.

Of the Stacey Kent c.d.'s with which I'm familiar, I think this is her best. Definitely recommended. RC
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stacey Kent In Her Most Relaxed Renditions, October 26, 2012
This review is from: Breakfast on the Morning Tram (Audio CD)
Stacey Kent was quoted by writer of Liner Notes, Robert G. Kaiser, saying: "I wanted to reveal more of myself on this album in a way that I hadn't fully before." He ended his Liner Notes with these words: "Did she succeed? I think so. Now you decide."

Yes, I guess she succeeded in revealing that she could also record non-standards and French songs as she never done before since most of her albums are standards-oriented in which she excels because she is one of the very best interpreters of The Great American Songbook. I have enjoyed her albums in my collection and they get a fair share of playtime in my listening adventure.

"Breakfast On The Morning Tram" was recorded in England in 2007 and released on the same year under Blue Note. It is Ms. Kent's first project with the prestigious recording company known for its high-quality jazz albums. It presents Stacey Kent in her most relaxed renditions of a plateful of contemporary songs, a spoonful of standards, and a scoop of French chansons. She is backed by her regular, ever reliable, uber talented bandmates: Jim Tomlinson (sax/flute), John Parricelli (guitar), Graham Harvey (piano), Dave Chamberlain (double bass) and Matt Skelton (drums/percussions). Jim Tomlinson wrote the striking arrangements on the entire tracks and the band's interplay is simply splendid.

The repertoire starts off with "The Ice Hotel," an original song with lyrics written by Kazuo Ishiguro set to glowing, well-composed music by Jim Tomlinson, a superb saxophonist whose technique has the same quality and finesse with that of Stan Getz.

Ray Evans and Jay Livingston's "Never Let Me Go" is the theme song from the 1956 movie "The Scarlet Hour." It was performed by Nat King Cole in that movie. The songwriting pair was also known for their many famous songs most notably "Mona Lisa" and "Dear Heart." She renders it immaculately with utmost respect to the real essence of the song--no frills and extra toppings--just the perfect way the songwriters expected it to be sung. Simple yet full of charms.

The French songs are very special treats for my ears. The rhythms of "Samba Saravah" and "Ces Petits Riens" are engagingly enchanting. "La Saison Des Pluies" is very delicately delivered with only a gentle guitar accompaniment by John Parricelli. It is a soothing serenade.

Sergio Mendes, Alan and Marilyn Bergman's "So Many Stars" is the peach of my ear. It is one of the most beautiful renditions ever recorded. Other noteworthy versions of this lovely song in my music collection include that of Natalie Cole (Ask a Woman Who Knows ), Jane Monheit (Surrender and Come Dream With Me ), Sarah Vaughan (Jazz Signatures - Send in the Clowns: Very Best Of ), Barbra Streisand (What Matters Most - Barbra Streisand Sings The Lyrics of Alan And Marilyn Bergman) and of course the original recording of Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 (Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 - Greatest Hits).

She ends this pleasing presentation with a sempiternal standard made popular by the legendary Louis Armstrong, "What A Wonderful World," which highlights John Parricelli's attention-grabbing guitar riffs.

I'm a staunch appreciator of Stacey Kent and Jim Tomlinson music and have collected more than a dozen of their remarkable CDs to enjoy forever. I always look forward to their new albums.

I graciously recommend this album. You'll enjoy it as much as I do!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Can't Go Wrong Here, June 13, 2014
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This review is from: Breakfast on the Morning Tram (Audio CD)
Stacy Kent is one of the best vocalists in the world of jazz--I would think everyone knows this at this point. The collaboration with her husband, Jim Tomlinson--featured here as composer, arranger--and playing tenor, soprano sax, and flute on this cd--is a gift from her/them to all who love this music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another smooth success for Stacey, April 10, 2008
By 
DutchBird "dutchbird" (Waltham MA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Breakfast on the Morning Tram (Audio CD)
Stacey Kent's "Breakfast on the Morning Tram" sounds like an audio journal from a global traveler: slightly world-weary but still enthusiastic, still hoping for ... ? Her trademark lyrical clarity combined with confident, understated yet adventuresome musical phrasing makes her singing a delight. For this CD she has moved beyond the American songbook and standards that make up many of her prior recordings. The songs and sound are fresh. Several songs, with lyrics by Japanese novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, ignore "songbook-style" rhymes for a more modern storytelling mode -- still catchy -- beautifully delivered by Stacey Kent's incomparable voice. This a a GREAT CD -- perhaps her best so far. My wish? Combine Ishiguro lyrics with more Brazilian-influenced melodies (Jobim? Gilberto? Tomlinson?) for a whole "Stacey Goes South" CD of updated samba and bossanova tunes. My other wish? Just where is that morning tram that serves breakfast?
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Surprised!, October 8, 2007
By 
Michael Krell (Omaha, NE United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Breakfast on the Morning Tram (Audio CD)
The title of the review may be a little bit misleading. I am really big Stacey Kent fan, and I had full confidence that her vocals would be amazing on this album. I also knew that her husband, Jim Tomlinson, and the band would put on a good show as well. What I was surprised about were the wonderful original songs written by Jim Tomlinson and Kazuo Ishiguro.

Many songs in the great American Songbook run a very fine line of being (too) corny or too shallow or just plain awkward. I think many people know what I am talking about. It is a fine art to write songs in that genre which can be seen by their lasting appeal.

Anyway, the original songs on this album are really wonderful. My favorites are probably "So Romantic" and the opener, "Ice Hotel." They have a wonderful composition and storytelling quality about them, and you couldn't find a better storyteller than Stacey Kent. I wasn't really sure about Breakfast On the Morning Tram, but the more I listen to it, the more I like it. I think "Ice Hotel", "I Wish I Could Go Traveling Again" and "So Romantic" would all make great additions to the Great American Songbook.

This is probably the best that Stacey Kent's band has ever sounded (at least recorded). Very nice interplay, and they have a little more space to do their own thing.

Everything is great on this album, but other songs that really stand out are "Landslide," (it sounds even better after a song like Ice Hotel) "Ces Petits Riens (oh yeah, Stacey Kent's French is superb; maybe she should consider an entire French album), "Hard-Hearted Hannah" (I would really love to hear this song live. It sounds like she is having a blast on the album) and finally "What a Wonderful World." (a truly breathtaking performance)

Ok, I went on long enough. Do yourself a favor and purchase this album!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breakfast on the Morning Tram is "Delicious", February 17, 2009
By 
This review is from: Breakfast on the Morning Tram (Audio CD)
Stacey Kent and Jim Tomlinson's latest collaboration, "Breakfast on the Morning Tram" is a delightful departure from the dozen or so previous albums they have recorded together. Several original tunes penned by Jim and Kazuo Ishiguro highlight the session. This is warm, sophisticated, vocal and instrumental jazz at it's best. We recently traveled to Salt Lake to catch Stacey and Jim in one of their rare North American gigs. They were on their way to Hollywood for the Grammy awards as the album had been nominated for "Best Jazz Vocal of the Year; and well deserved I might add. I could go on and on about my love for the music of these two, but suffice it to say that this is a don't miss experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Stacey Kent, February 21, 2014
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This review is from: Breakfast on the Morning Tram (Audio CD)
Got to see her live in Salt Lake City several years back. I love her voice and the original tracks. Fabulous album!
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Breakfast on the Morning Tram
Breakfast on the Morning Tram by Stacey Kent (Audio CD - 2007)
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