Stacey Kent

Stacey Kent already has a reputation as one of the finest jazz singers in the country today. Judging by the reaction at Norwich Playhouse, she is on her way to becoming one of the world's and this country's finest ever.

Stacey Kent already has a reputation as one of the finest jazz singers in the country today.

Judging by the reaction from Saturday's audience at Norwich Playhouse, she is on her way to becoming one of the world's and this country's finest ever.

The American-born singer still has a naïve quality about her but it is her faultless phrasing and pitch-perfect voice with a tingling vibrato at the end of every phrase that sets the spine tingling.

Most of the songs were from the Cole Porter era and were firm favourites with the audience, but there were the odd suprises – especially a very upbeat arrangement of Shall We Dance, an impossibly slow rendition of Bewitched and It Might As Well Be Spring.

But the two songs which set the toes tapping after the break showed her huge sense of fun.

And it was in the more upbeat songs that the true brilliance of the band came

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to the fore, Colin Oxley's guitar and David Newton's piano especially.

Oxley's solo in This Can't Be Love showed his extraordinary dexterity at its best.

Stacey thanked them repeatedly and pointed out that they had all just spent a week together recording the next album due for release in the autumn – a must-buy for jazz lovers if ever there was one.

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