Stacey Kent

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Stacey Kent

Birdland, NYC, June 8, 2018

Reviewed by Peter Haas for Cabaret Scenes

Stacey Kent

The joy was contagious. Stacey Kent, singing in her warm, natural and enchanting style and clearly enjoying herself, captured our hearts during her late-spring engagement at Birdland. Not for just a single show, but for five nights in a row, two shows a night, and to packed houses throughout her run.

With her husband Jim Tomlinson playing flute and leading their band (comprised of Art Hirahara on piano, Tom Hubbard on double bass, and Anthony Pinciotti on drums), Kent in an elegantly embroidered short jacket, stood quietly and sang, her body swaying ever so slightly in rhythm and her lilting voice making both familiar and seldom-sung numbers uniquely hers.

Her program was a rainbow of American popular song, some international numbers, and original ones co-created by Tomlinson. Among the former were “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face” (Lerner and Loewe), “That’s All” (Bob Haymes and Alan Brandt), and an oldie, “Shadow Waltz” (Harry Warren and Al Dubin), from the movie, 42nd Street. International songs included “Dindi” (Antônio Carlos Jobim/Aloysio de Oliveira) and “Wave” (Jobim), “Les Amours perdues” by Serge Gainsbourg, and “Jardin d’hiver” by Karen Ann Zeidel and Benjamin Biolay. Tomlinson’s talents as a composer came to the fore with his “Bullet Train” (created with Kazuo Ishiguro) and Kent’s sweet treatment of “Thinking About the Rain” (written with Cliff Goldmacher).

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In a note to this writer after their run, Tomlinson also gave “a thank-you shout-out for a great job to Birdland’s sound engineer, Richard Bernard.”

Following their final number, Kent and Tomlinson remained on the floor of the club, chatting with patrons and signing autographs and copies of their CDs. Plans call for their return in the winter.

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.