"The Lyric," newest release of British tenor saxophone man Jim Tomlinson, advertises that it "features" his wife, Anglo-American jazz chanteuse Stacey Kent. However, she's surely more a co-star: we hear her lovely voice on all but two of the album's tracks.
Tomlinson has credited Stan Getz as a formative musical influence, and the album, although it draws heavily from the Great American songbook, and Broadway, to some degree also follows Getz down South America way. Furthermore, it's a reminder of the musical partnership of Getz and Astrud Gilberto -- the tenor sax is close to the human voice in its range; and the Tomlinson/Kent collaborations are almost mystically, mutually interwoven.
The album, which has won "Best Vocal Album" at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Awards, and 2006 "Album of the Year" at the prestigious British Broadcasting Company's Jazz Awards, is Tomlinson's first release on his own label, Token. It takes a fresh approach to its standards, even such familiar ones as Rogers and Hammerstein's "Surrey With The Fringe on Top," and Lerner and Loewe's "I've Grown Accustomed to His Face." We also get a selection of French tunes, delivered by Kent as though she'd been born in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Cole Porter's knowing "My Heart Belongs to Daddy," gets a clean rendition, no winks or nods. Kent has a modern, conversational, intimately whispering style well-suited to this repertory, and Tomlinson's sax always has a story to tell. The band consists of David Newton on piano, Dave Chamberlain on double bass, and Matt Skelton on drums.
I've been lucky enough to catch Kent and Tomlinson at New York's famous Algonquin Hotel. There's no question, they're working in the here and now. Still their collaborative style of music making is reminiscent of the great Lester Young and Billie Holiday, or even, to cite a contemporary, perhaps better known to Americans duo, John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey. They make beautiful music together.
Brilliant CD, especially good for laid back evening listening. Mellow and sweet, very relaxing. Its great that theres a younger generation of singers who are carrying on the tradition of good quality music. Jim Tomlinson's saxophone complements his wife's singing beautifully, and his solos are a joy to listen to in their own right.
A friend introduced me to Stacey Kent and her other half, Jim Tomlinson, saying 'try it',try it! I bet you'll like it!' I did, and was much taken with their artistry. So much so, I now have nearly all their albums. These two performers are class acts creating cool jazz.
Still enjoying the combination of vocal and saxophone and this pair clearly enjoy working together Although Jim and Stacey don't seem to get the chance that often with differing projects. They shuld do so more often if this is the product. Also recomend many of Stacey's other cds.
I have other Stacey Kent albums, three or four, and this was an irresistible addition. Tomlinson is a brilliant musician an an even more brilliant arranger...he knows exactly what will work perfectly, and that's pretty much what this album is.
A BEAUTIFUL COMBINATION OF FINE SONGS, WONDERFUL SINGING AND SUBLIME INSTRUMENTALS. STACEY KENT HAS THE MOST AMAZING VOICE, BUT SHE IS AN EXPERT AT KNOWING HOW TO USE IT TO EFFECT AND FOR MAXIMUM ENJOYM,ENT TO THE LISTENER.
To all intends a Stacey Kent album as she sings on most tracks anyway. Usual combination of Brazilian songs classic American songbook and a couple of originals. If you like Stacey kent then you know you'll like this.
Superb example of the craft of this husband and wife team. I have the original 2005 CD issue - a copy autographed by Stacy and Jim - and have long treasured this album, one incidentally issued more under Jim's name I think as as means of contract fulfilment with the couple's original recording contract (although I might be a bit wrong on that.... ) as may explain the non- vocal inclusions on this selection. There have been other non Blue Note reissues from them as well. But that aside this is a fine example of the great jazz singer.
Brilliant record from beginning to end. The recording quality is second to none. I have several of Stacey's recordings, but this is the best. You feel to be in the studio with them as they were playing. Now looking to buy recordings of Jim Tomllinson, a superb musician