2011 CD release.
The loudest sounds you hear on this 2010 Paris gig by jazz chanteuse Stacey Kent is the audience cheering. Brought up in New York and now living in London, the vocalist is a very big deal in France, and Raconte Moi was one of the biggest-selling French-language albums in the world last year. Kent's strengths – expressive delicacy at low volumes, flexible phrasing and instinctive dialogues with her saxophonist husband, Jim Tomlinson – are all here, on a set that reprises much the same low-lights virtues she has been displaying since the 1990s.
A moody and then Latin-swaying version of It Might As Well Be Spring, a fine account of novelist Kazuo Ishiguro's Postcard Lovers, and a canter through Antônio Carlos Jobim's hypnotic Waters of March are among the highlights. But Kent's rare and almost defiant sustained note at the close of the French-language Samba Saravah, a gritty robustness on If I Were a Bell, and the occasional Madeleine Peyroux-like elision on The Best Is Yet to Come give this set extra intrigue – even if devotees of edgier jazz will grumble that it's like having chocolate poured in your ear.
John Fordham ~ The Guardian
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