Raconte-moi… (EMI/Blue Note)

Stacey Kent

Released March 30, 2010

The Guardian Best Album of 2010






Stacey Kent could not be accused of trying to carry coals to Newcastle, in fact she has taken her artistic wares in the opposite direction. The US-born jazz vocalist has spent almost her entire professional life away from the art form’s birthplace, after moving to London around 20 years ago. She now spends most of her time on the global circuit and will be back in Israel for the fourth time, to perform at the Zappa clubs in Herzliyah and Tel Aviv, today and tomorrow respectively.

In fact, as a tiny tot Kent had a more than fair idea of where she’d be living – or not be living – when she grew up. “When I was a little girl, I didn’t know I was going to be a singer,” she recalls. “But I had a real attraction to be part of the world. I read books from other countries, like Thomas Hardy and French literature.” The latter was inspired by Kent’s ancestral roots. “My grandfather was a Russian who lived in France before moving to the US,” explains the singer. “He kept his passion for his cultural ties in the States. He loved the words and he taught me French poetry.”

Barry Davis (The Jerusalem Post)

Track Listing:

1. Les Eaux de Mars (Antônio Carlos Jobim) 03:38

2. Jardin d’Hiver (Benjamin Biolay / Keren-Ann Zeidel) 03:34

3. Raconte-Moi… (Bernie Beaupere / Jean-Karl Lucas / Emilie Satt) 03:42

4. L’ Étang (Paul Misraki) 04:24

5. La Vénus du Mélo (Bernie Beaupere / Jean-Karl Lucas / Emilie Satt) 03:47

6. Au Coin du Monde (Benjamin Biolay / Keren-Ann Zeidel) 04:14

7. C’est le Printemps (Oscar Hammerstein II / Richard Rodgers9 04:28

8. Sait-On Jamais? (Camille Davila / Jim Tomlinson) 04:12

9. Les Vacances au Bord de La Mer (Pierre Grosz / Michel Jonasz) 03:29

10. Mi Amor (Claire Denamur) 03:58

11. Le Mal de Vivre (Monique Andrée Serf) 04:44

12. Désuets (Pierre Dominique Burgaud / André Manoukian) 03:09


Stacey Kent: vocals, whistling

Jim Tomlinson: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, clarinet, kalimba [Sansula]

Graham Harvey: piano, electric piano

John Parricelli: guitar

Jeremy Brown: double bass

Matt Skelton: drums, percussion

Produced and Arranged by Jim Tomlinson

Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Curtis Schwartz

Photography by Nicole Nodland

Artwork: Jean-Louis Duralek


Over a dozen albums and several compilations, American-born British resident Stacey Kent has sung standards with polish and class, but perhaps her fans might not have expected the result on this CD. A program of tunes interpreted entirely in French, Kent here fancies herself as a modern-day Edith Piaf, with a very low-key, late-night, romantic approach. Her thin, wispy voice rides very much under the radar of these selections, with a small instrumental complement including pianist Graham Harvey, guitarist John Parricelli, and in select spots her husband, saxophonist Jim Tomlinson. Most of the tracks are French pop songs, but occasionally Kent sneaks in a ringer like Antonio Carlos Jobim’s always delightful “Les Eaux de Mars” (Waters of March), and adds a Brazilian flavor to the title selection or calypso on the most upbeat number, “Mi Amor.” Harvey’s pristine piano is the telling factor on how this music inspires Kent to dig deep into her soul without pulling in demons or being extroverted. Though there are moments when the band swings, goes into a circular motion, or actually does a jazz standard (“It Might As Well Be Spring”), Kent and her mates stick to ballads and torch songs in the main. This is her second CD for the Blue Note label, more likely to appeal on a international European than stateside U.S. level, but it is heartfelt and purely soulful no matter the lyrics or language.

Michael G. Nastos (AllMusic)