on 27 August 2000
First heard this lady (with her husband, Jim Tomlinson on tenor sax) at this year's Birmingham Jazz Festival and was just taken aback by her voice and repertoire (on this occasion many were taken from this album). She is somewhere around Blossom Dearie and Billie Holliday but with all her own style, exquisite phrasing and personality - she obviously just loves singing the songs and puts over the lyric with real affection! Jim Tomlinson has echoes of Stan Getz and his solos complimented her superbly as they do on this CD and the rest of the group are just excellent. What a find - have just kept playing this CD over and over - if you love classic songs, sung with wit and feeling and accompanied by superb musicians then try this - I bet you go looking for everything else she's done - I know that I have!
on 9 February 2001
Stacey Kent, together with her jazz ensemble are the best thing I have heard for some years. Her choice of songs show exquisite taste and by adding the verse as often as possible, she tells a beautiful story every time. Her delivery and style is personal and meaningful and has so much feeling. I have booked to see her at The Concorde Club, Eastleigh on April 11th for the first time and eagerly await the day. Wonderful listening Stacey, thank you.
on 17 March 2000
Stacey Kent has been a splendid fixture on the UK jazz scene for the past few years and, as her previous albums (Close Your Eyes - CCD 79737 and The Tender Trap - CCD 79751) have shown, she is without doubt the most exciting new singer in decades. Accompanied by tenor supremo (and husband) Jim Tomlinson and an expert band, Stacey here swings her way through a wonderful set of standards with a vocal style that would fit easily into the song's eras as well as our own. If your taste runs to classic songs performed with wit and grace by a singer and band who can swing as well as deliver killer ballads, look no further!
DIANNE KRALL (singer).
According to the liner notes written by Stacey, as a child she used to imagine herself in place of Ginger Rogers. Stacey shows her obvious enthusiasm for, and familiarity with, Fred's music in this, her third album. It is unusual for a singer to pay tribute to an artist from the thirties and forties, as tribute albums devoted to that era usually focus on the composer, but this is a brilliant album.
Stacey chose mostly well-known songs including such classics as Let yourself go, They can't take that away from me, Isn't this a lovely day, S'wonderful and A fine romance. Of course, Fred had many more classic songs that Stacey didn't include (such as Putting on the Ritz, The continental, Cheek to cheek, Fascinating rhythm, Nice work if you can get it, Night and day), but the thirteen songs chosen offer a good representation. Irving Berlin composed three of the songs here, while there are five by George and Ira Gershwin. Between them, those three men were responsible for the majority of Fred's classics so it is no surprise to find they have the majority here. All the songs here suit Stacey's style perfectly, and all are suitably updated for modern listeners while respecting tradition.
The musicianship is, as always on a Stacey Kent album, outstanding. If you are a jazz vocal fan or a Fred Astaire fan, or you are simply wondering what made Fred legendary, this is just for you.
on 6 December 2000
I have now bought all of Stacey's albums in the space of three weeks after initially hearing the Dreamsville album. Let Yourself Go is so astounding my family have begged me to play something else because it is rarely out of my CD player. When I initially saw the track listing included One For My Baby I thought hmmm interesting because this is my favourite Sinatra track. I did not believe his version could be bettered but boy was I wrong!! You are actually there with her in that late night bar as she sings her woes to the barman...a simply beautiful rendition. Every song is a highlight. You simply must have this album!!
on 18 March 2000
I thought that Ms Kent had produced the goods with her last recording The Tender Trap - but her latest is just sensational. Crystal clear tonal quality combine with delicate phrasing to bring us an exquisite and pleasurable hour of musical bliss. This young lady has it all - I can't find anything to match her. Supported by five of the most talented jazz musicians in the business, Ms Kent not only delivers a fine tribute to Fred Astaire but an album to make the heart rejoice.
Stacey Kent is unlikely to make an album that sells millions of copies, nor headline a stadium show in front of tens of thousands, nor top the bill at the Palladium, but let me tell you something, she has as much if not more musical talent than those who have achieved these yardsticks of artistic success.
Born in New Jersey in 1966, she moved to England after graduating in New York and studied at London's Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where she met the tenor saxophonist, Jim Tomlinson, whom she married in 1991.
She began her professional career in the early 1990's singing regularly at the popular Soho nightspot, 'Cafe Boheme' before going on to open for established jazz acts across the road at the legendary Ronnie Scott's nightclub. Since then she has appeared extensively in Europe and won many awards for her Jazz singing including the prestigious "Ordre des Arts et des Lettres", a French Government decoration in recognition of her contribution to the arts.
Her voice is best described in "Time Out London" as "Timeless, artless and utterley gorgeous" and her talents by "The Yorkshire Post" thus "All the hype about Kent is justified.....She is blessed with that magic give to very few singers". Simply put her voice, delivery and interpretation of her songs are just sublime.
"Let Yourself Go" celebrates Fred Astaire and naturally includes the likes of "They Can't Take That Away From Me", "I Won't Dance", "'S Wonderful", "Shall We Dance?", "One For My Baby", and "A Fine Romance" - she is accompanied throughout by her husband on saxophone and clarinet. The result is just about as good as you can get in gentle easy-to-listen-to, exquisitely sung jazz music.
'Let Yourself Go' is a highly competent,stylish and enormously enjoyable lounge jazz album.The band are great, they play with a swinging lightness of touch and sense of economy that acts as a great support for the main attraction.Stacey with her little girl -almost Blossom Dearie kind of voice is charm itself.She makes a lovely job of working her way through some of the many highlights of the Fred Astaire catalogue, so much so, it feels a real shame when the CD reaches its conclusion.
'Let Yourself Go' is in essence a sit back, relax and listen type of thing. It's slick and highly accomplished set in all departments and as long as you are not looking for musical fireworks or radical reworkings of the material you won't be disappointed.
Fave tracks include: 'One For My Baby(And One More For The Road' and 'They Can't Take That Away From Me'.
Let Yourself Go
on 5 May 2005
I must admit that my initial reaction to Stacey Kent's music was indifference - although not quite as indifferent as the seriously over-rated Diana Krall !! However, having heard the title track a few times on the radio, it eventually dawned on me that this CD was actually great fun. Most of the music has the feel of the old Verve recordings of the 1950's where swing era musicians would record with more modern minded musicians such as Oscar Peterson.
The addition of the guitar to the line up gives some of the tracks some of that "swing era chug" whilst Kent's true artistry is demonstrated on the slow tracks such as "Isn't this a lovely day" (the best thing on the album) and "All by myself." Unlike many backing groups for singers, it is immediately clear that this is a regular working band and all the better for that. Dave Newton is as impressive as ever on piano and is clearly the most modern-minded musician on the CD. Unfortunately, I remain to be convinced by Stacey Kent's other half, Jim Tomlinson , who sounds too much like Stan Getz for my tastes. (This will no doubt delight a certain age of listener!!) However, Coltane-ish sheets of sound would be highly inappropriate in this setting!
All in all, it is the enthusiasm of the musicians that merit the additional star. (She is even better as a live act and has a great rapport with her audiences.) If a smile could be transcribed in music, it would sound like Stacey Kent. This is great fun (check out "A Fine Romance" where she almost breaks out laughing mid-chorus) and if not of the calibre of my favourite singers such as Dianne Reeves, Abbey Lincoln and Cassandra Wilson, her easy-going records may encourage listeners to further explore the wonderful world of jazz. Recommended.
on 10 March 2013
I bought this CD because I like Fred Astaire music & films but you don't have to be a Fred Astaire fan to like this CD. It is the first one I have bought of Stacey Kent & I think she has a lovely voice, I will definetly be looking at more of her CD's.