Stacey Kent : Breakfast on the Morning Tram

Stacey Kent : Breakfast on the Morning Tram


Stacey Kent (vocals), Jim Tomlinson (tenor sax, clarinet, flute), John Parricelli (guitar), Graham Harvay (piano), Dave Chamberlain (bass), Matt Skelton (drums), Curtis Schwartz (backing vocals)

Blue Note 50161

Pure Pleasure Records : 2 LPs 180 gram

Brand New and Sealed Record

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A1 - The Ice Hotel
A2 - Landslide
A3 - Ces Petits Riens
B1 - I Wish I Could Go Travelling Again
B2 - So Many Stars
B3 - Samba Saravah
C1 - Breakfast On the Morning Tram
C2 - Never Let Me Go
C3 - So Romantic
D1 - Hard-Hearted Hannah
D2 - La Saison des Pluies
D3 - What A Wonderful World

Recorded in March - April 2007 at Curtis Schwartz Studios in Ardingly, England.

What happens when established artists grow out of their old skin? Put this disc into your music player and find out.

Breakfast On the Morning Tram is the musical equivalent of a growth spurt. With the important assistance of novelist, and now lyricist, Kazuo Ishiguro, Stacey Kent and her permanent sidekick/producer/music director, Jim Tomlinson, have moved to a new place. This disc, Stacey's first for Blue Note, marks the spot.

One easy way to describe the change is to note what is not on this record: no Gershwin or Porter, no Rogers or Berlin, no Carmichael or Ellington. The Great American Songbook that has been the source of most Stacey Kent material since her recording career began a decade ago, is represented here only by three songs out of a dozen. Yet all the songs on this album are cousins of the great Songbook songs—they all “seem to inhabit the same musical world,” as Jim Tomlinson put it to me. They all tell stories, usually wistfully, something Stacey loves to do; they all make you think about love and loving; they all (if my experience is any indicator) stick in your head after just a few listenings. Most important, they all help Stacey show off her very best stuff. No Stacey Kent fan will be shocked by this record—they are much more likely to be delighted by it. She has never sounded better.

Stacey sings three songs here in French, two lesser-known love songs by the late Serge Gainsbourg and a famous samba from the 1966 French film A Man and a Woman, written by the Brazilians Baden Powell and Vinicius de Moraes, with a French lyric by Pierre Barouh. If you’re old enough to remember the movie, you’ll recognize the song at once.

Stacey sings one Fleetwood Mac song from the 1970s written by Stevie Nicks, Landslide, and makes it her own. And then there are three from the Songbook: Hard Hearted Hannah, Never Let Me Go and What A Wonderful World. On the latter, Stacey quietly enters a world previously inhabited by Louis Armstrong. By my lights her version is as powerful as Satchmo’s.

This Pure Pleasure LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the original analogue studio tapes through to the cutting head and was pressed with virgin vinyl at Pallas.