Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

481

Stacey Kent: Raconte-Moi

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
While vocalist Stacey Kent has a keen ear for songs, a distinctive and engaging voice and a talent for interpretation, she is also critically acclaimed and commercially successful. Strikingly, like many American jazz musicians from Sidney Bechet onwards, she has gained particular fame and acceptance in France, her albums entering the pop charts and where, in 2009, she was awarded the title of Chevalier des Arts et Lettres. Kent is clearly a Francophile in return, and Raconte-moi finds her singing exclusively in French on this collection of new and more established songs.

This is a stylish, sophisticated, collection, and Kent's interpretations are intimate; she has an uncanny ability to inhabit a song, as if she has experienced the story herself. The song choices are intriguing, although Kent plays it a little safer than she did on the Grammy-nominated Breakfast On The Morning Tram (Blue Note, 2007)—sadly there is nothing on this album from the majestic Serge Gainsbourg. Three of its most beautiful songs come, however, from young French writers. The songwriting team of Bernie Beaupere, Emilie Satt and Jean-Karl Lucas contribute two lovely tunes—"Raconte-moi" and "La Vénus du Mélo"—while Camille D'Avril contributes lyrics to "Sait-on Jamais?," with music from Jim Tomlinson.

Kent's band, led by husband, arranger and producer Tomlinson, is one of the finest jazz combos around. The intimacy of Kent's vocals demands control from musicians as much as it demands elegance and precision—there are few solos to be found here—and these players have the skill and confidence to deliver exactly what is needed. Tomlinson has a gorgeous, warm, tone on reeds, reminiscent of saxophone greats like Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster. Drummer Matt Skelton is constantly inventive—his brush work in particular is absolutely spot-on—while pianist Graham Harvey and bassist Jeremy Brown weave hypnotic rhythms under Kent's voice. Guitarist John Parricelli is most effective on acoustic guitar, his warm and languid guitar lines key to the emotional impact of "Raconte-moi," while his slide guitar and Skelton's drums create "La Vénus du Mélo"'s uplifting, country-style backing.

Beautifully recorded by Curtis Schwartz at his studio in the south of England, Raconte-moi's superb clarity of sound is nothing less than what this delightful and affecting collection of songs deserves. Raconte-moi is a wonderfully crafted work that enhances the reputation of everyone involved in its production, but most especially Kent and Tomlinson.

Track Listing: Les Eaux De Mars; Jardin D'Hiver; Raconte-moi; L'Etang; La Venus Du Melo; Au Coin Du Monde; C'est Le Printemps; Sait-On Jamais?; Les Vacances Au Bord De Lar Mer; Mi Amor; Le Mal De Vivre; Desuets.

Personnel: Stacey Kent: vocals; Graham Harvey: piano and Fender Rhodes; John Parricelli: guitars; Jeremy Brown: double bass; Matt Skelton: drums and percussion; Jim Tomlinson: tenor, soprano and baritone saxophone, clarinet, sansula.

Title: Raconte-Moi | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Celebrating William Parker at 65 CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating William Parker at 65
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Eternal Life CD/LP/Track Review Eternal Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)" CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Pelagos" CD/LP/Track Review Pelagos
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 14, 2017
Read "Drama" CD/LP/Track Review Drama
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: September 9, 2017
Read "A Pouting Grimace" CD/LP/Track Review A Pouting Grimace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 15, 2017
Read "Ziljabu Nights - Live at Theater Gutersloh" CD/LP/Track Review Ziljabu Nights - Live at Theater Gutersloh
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "The Source" CD/LP/Track Review The Source
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 26, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!