Stacey Kent: Tenderly

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Stacey Kent


Birdland, NYC, January 20, 2016

Reviewed by Peter Haas for Cabaret Scenes

Stacey-Kent-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212Warm smiles spread throughout the audience to the far corners of Birdland as Grammy-nominated Stacey Kent and her band took to the stage for several evenings in mid-January, in what has become a highly welcome winter-time tradition. Ever-youthful, dressed in slacks and handsome vest, relaxed and clearly enjoying herself as she swayed and mini-danced through her numbers, Kent celebrated her newest CD release, Tenderly, a collaboration with Brazilian music master Robert Menescal, and a follow-up to her recent Grammy-nominated CD, The Changing Lights.

Kent’s repertoire is increasingly a mixture of American and Brazilian numbers.

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The beginning of her set included well-known English-language songs, such as Ray Noble’s “The Very Thought of You,” Benny Carter/Sammy Cahn’s “Only Trust Your Heart,” Johnny Mercer/Victor Schertzinger’s “Tangerine,” and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s perky “Happy Talk”—all in fresh, rhythmic arrangements. She then moved seamlessly into the second half of her program, celebrating her growing expertise in her Brazilian-flavored repertoire.

These numbers included such Stacey-fan favorites as “One Note Samba,” by Jobim/Mendonca; Jobim’s well-known “Águas de Março” (“Waters of March”); “Samba Saravah,” and, as an encore, “Summer Samba” (“So Nice”).

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Part of the delight in attending a Stacey Kent evening is listening to, and watching, her superb, lively band: Jim Tomlinson on flute and saxophone; Art Hirahara on piano; Tom Hubbard on bass; and Josh Morris on drums.

Peter Haas

Writer, editor, lyricist and banjo plunker, Peter Haas has been contributing features and performance reviews for Cabaret Scenes since the magazine’s infancy. As a young folk-singer, he co-starred on Channel 13’s first children’s series, Once Upon a Day; wrote scripts, lyrics and performed on Pickwick Records’ children’s albums, and co-starred on the folk album, All Day Singing. In a corporate career, Peter managed editorial functions for CBS Records and McGraw-Hill, and today writes for a stable of business magazines. An ASCAP Award-winning lyricist, his work has been performed at Carnegie Hall, Feinstein’s, Metropolitan Room and other fine saloons.