Sunday, March 25, 2012

Stacey Kent Dreamer In Concert 2011

I've never been crazy about live rock records. In the rock and roll and pop genres, there's plenty of good ones, but I always find my personal favorites are studio recordings. In the jazz field, things are different. Many of my jazz favorites are live recordings. Maybe it is the spontaneous nature of jazz music in general.

Here is a new live jazz CD from one of my favorite singers. The band (husband Jim Tomlinson on sax, Graham Harvey on piano, and Jeremy Brown and Matt Skelton on bass and drums, respectively) is fine, moving though these tunes seemingly effortlessly. And it takes enormous effort to pull that off. Stacey is herself, a little coquettish, and a consummate performer who consistently inhabits her material. She adds guitar to several songs. Recorded in Paris, there are several songs in French, and one in Portuguese.

There are also a handful of classic jazz standards, and a few from Tomlinson's pen, two new ones plus the recent Breakfast On The Morning Tram. Everything is splendid. The new material is as good as the rest, and Dreamer itself, a Carlos Antonio Jobim song, is magnificent in it's soft, swinging beauty.

Never in your face, never aggressive, always fascinating, this is music to sip something to. You can listen to it as background music, but you'd be making a big mistake. It deserves your full attention.

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