Stacey Kent, Norwich

Stacey Kent is a young singer who is fast earning a reputation as one of the best jazz voices in the country.

Stacey Kent is a young singer who is fast earning a reputation as one of the best jazz voices in the country.

At times she does little more than breath phrases and words; at others there is an unexpected rasp to her voice – and all finished with a tingling vibrato to enchant even the harshest critic.

She finds it impossible to keep still on stage and is a constant, foot-tapping, dancing, smiling, enjoyable bundle of pure rhythm.

So, on Saturday evening at Norwich Playhouse, she gave us that old standard Bewitched, sung very slowly with unashamed schmultz-iness; a swinging Come Rain Come Shine, and This Must be Love, both perfect for her sense of timing and rhythm; and Under a Blanket Of Blue from her CD Dreamsville, where she let the beauty of the tune do the work.

Husband and tenor sax player Jim Tomlinson is an important part of the secret with very clever arrangements, and a special word should go to guitarist Colin Oxley, whose drive pushes the quartet of very fine accompanying musicians along.

Stacey was very amusing about the Norwich traffic system (likening it Mornington Crescent). Hopefully she can find her way back at the Maddermarket later this year where she is booked for another certain sell-out. Yet another evening not to be missed.

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