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Dreamsville

4.6 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The New York native who resides in England is a formidable presence on the modern jazz scene. This is her fourth album exploring the standards and the reviews have all been sterling. The emphasis here is on the ballads and her breathy emphasis and phrasing are nothing less than spectacular and riveting. Her vocals are not "dressed up" or enhanced by studio technique. What you get is pure, raw singing talent that shines like a fine jewel.

Amazon.com

Strictly in terms of recognizable standards, Stacey Kent's 2001 album, Dreamsville, might be hard-pressed to measure up to her 2000 NPR smash Let Yourself Go, a snappy, swinging tribute to the great dancer-singer-actor Fred Astaire, but it's still a sterling example of the girlish charm of London's top jazz vocalist. This collection of ballads ranges from the Gershwins ("I've Got a Crush on You," the underrated "Isn't It a Pity") to Henry Mancini (the dreamy title tune) all the way to Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman ("Hushabye Mountain" from the 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). That it works seamlessly is a tribute to the singer's relaxed way with a lyric, excellent support and solos from a band featuring reedman Jim Tomlinson (Kent's husband), guitarist Colin Oxley, and pianist David Newton, and solid arrangements by Kent and Tomlinson. --David Horiuchi
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 16, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Candid Productions
  • Run Time: 55 minutes
  • ASIN: B00004ZAYM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,213 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Every time Stacey Kent brings out a new album, it is, quite unbelievably, better than her last. Her string may end with this one because it just can't get any better. This album is made up of songs that friends and fans have requested and is filled with great ballads that Stacey makes all her own. The proof is the last cut, Thanks For The Memory, that she does with just the elegant piano backing of David Newton. It will probably be the first time you hear the song and don't immediately think of Bob Hope. Two other numbers demonstrate the range of possibilities in the ballad form. When You're Lover Is Gone has a drive and swing that showcases the whole group's ability while You Are There is a quiet and introspective reading that commands attention. Backing Stacey is her usual assembly. Jim Tomlinson's spare saxophone complements her phrasing most graciously. Her regulars, Colin Oxley on guitar, David Newton on Piano and Simon Thorpe on bass are joined by Jasper Kviberg on drums, are a joy to hear and the entire group makes it seem effortless. With nary a weak track on the disc, it would be hard to see how this album can be topped. But then, that's what I felt about her last one, Let Yourself Go. My only complaint is that this album has been out in England since last October and it's taken this long to cross the pond.
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Format: Audio CD
The first time I heard Stacey Kent sing (Bali Hai on "In Love Again"), I said "where have I been?"

Very few singers are a consistently perfect match for their material and sing strictly within themselves. Kent's material, on disc after disc, is a perfect match for her little girl, soft-cell vocalizing. She never stretches to reach ends that are beyond her, as so many other singers often attempt to do. Plus, her back-up group, as is this set, supports and complements her, and never attempts to overshadow her with "I'm here too" type playing. In this regard, listening to Stacey Kent on this album reminds me of Karrin Allyson, another fine vocalist, whose work on "Ballads, Remembering John Coltrane" was totally overwhelmed by tenorman Bob Berg's obvious attempts to remind listeners that he was there too.

On "Dreamsville," listen to When Your Lover Has Gone, and you will know what Stacey Kent is all about. Also, her version of Polka Dots and Moonbeams is so well done, it will be easy to set aside the notion that this is a "guy" song and that only someone such as Sinatra can get away with singing this Jimmy Van Heuson gem.

For what she does, and how she does it, Stacey Kent is perfection.
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Format: Audio CD
I read a review of this album that said "Kent is a fragrant jazz chanteuse who routinely reduces hardened jazz-lovers (particularly the males) to weeping heaps of blubber...That voice is a model of the jazz singer's art, with its perfect intonation, cool poise and spine-tingling beauty. She makes these lovesome nuggets seem as timeless and malleable as the plays of Shakespeare. Who could guess that the world's most poignant vocal jazz album would be produced this late in the day" and I couldn't agree more. Monheit and Krall may have the limelight now, but try listening to Stacey and the others side by side - Stacey wins hands down everytime. She is destined to be huge.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It is the best of times and worst of times. The first decade of the 21st century may be remembered as a time when some of the most talentless trash was ever produced for popular music--while, at the same time, a new crop of very talented young jazz vocalists came to the forefront. Stacey Kent is one of those talented singers.

First, what Stacey is not. She is not a multi-octave range singer like Sarah Vaughan (of course, Billie Holiday also had a very limited range and still was a "lion"). Stacey's sound is clear, pure, and sweet. Some might say it to be "innocent," but--when she sings of love, or love lost--you just sense that she knows of what she sings.

It doesn't hurt that she has a first-rate band. We Americans have probably heard of none of them, but no matter. They deliver the goods here. Special note should be made of Stacey's husband, Jim Tomlinson. He is an excellent tenor saxophonist of the Lester Young/Ben Webster school. That is, unlike many modern tenor players who tend to "overblow" the instrument, Tomlinson knows how to bring out the romantic sensual tones. In this, he is comparable to one of the few contemporary players who has also figured this out, Scott Hamilton. It sure works here.

There really isn't a bad tune on this album--I would say "Thanks for the Memories" is my least favorite, but it's still OK. For my favorites, I would nominate "Violets for Your Furs," a somewhat forgotten standard and "When Your Lover Has Gone." Now, the latter tune has been done by just about everybody recently, but Stacey still puts her stamp on it, and Tomlinson's solo is wonderful. My favorite on this album, though, is "You Are There," where Stacey sings a single verse, accompanied only by piano. You can just tell that she feels the quiet, but intense emotion of love lost that is in every word that she sings.

This album is a "keeper."
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Format: Audio CD
I had the luxury of seeing and meeting Stacey Kent Live here in Washington, D.C. late last year, and she was breathless. The show was as captivating as is the CD, which I was able to get a early copy of. Stacey is not afraid to revel and express her love of ballads, and her sultry vibrato that she adds in her phrasing give me chills. Her natural approach to her song seem effortless and simple. She does not force the songs to "swing" by complicated changes but hold a simple elegance letting her voice carry the tune. Stacey is acompanied by Jim Tomlinson which matches her voice with some haunting wistful solos, such as in Violets For Your Furs. I can't recommend this enough, but if your not interested I will happy to keep this angel for my own.
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