Stacey Kent gave an intimate and unforgettable performance at Flagey...photo by the author.
The Skoda Jazz Festival ended in sold out Flagey with a magnificent finale by singer Stacey Kent, singing songs from her latest Album “Raconte Moi”. Stacey Kent, who was brought up in New Yersey and Colorado, was introduced to the French language by her Russian-born paternal grandfather. So Stacey was singing in French, and this added a special tinge to her unforgettable performance
Hans Knol ten Bensel
A close up of Stacey Kent at the concert, by Tony Daenen, put at my disposal by producer Jazztronaut...
We could read the story of her grandfather on her website and the cover liner text of het latest album "Raconte Moi": As a young man, fleeing the Bolshevik Revolution, her grandfather spent several years in Paris, before joining the rest of his exiled family in the U.S.A. Nostalgic for his Parisian youth, Stacey's grandfather taught her French. He had her reciting poems by Baudelaire before she even understood all that she was saying.
The setting was ideal for this intimate concert... photo by the author.
As Stacey grew older, she and her grandfather spoke entirely in French together. It was a linguistic bond that he shared exclusively with her, a tender complicity. It was her grandfather who first played Serge Gainsbourg for her.
Stacey went on to become a student of languages (Italian, German and Portuguese, in addition to French) and comparative literature before the passion for making music became a way of life. Academia's loss has become music's magnificent gain. Among Stacey's many honors is a décoration des Arts et Lettres, awarded in 2009. So one could say that Raconte-moi represents a new stage in the mutual affection between Stacey Kent and France.
Stacey Kent was accompanied on the guitar by her husband and producer Jim Tomlinson on the final songs of her concert at Flagey...
Stacey in French…
On the album linre we read that there is something subtly different about Stacey Kent in French. Her insouciance is spicier. We could not agree more. She is able to bring her intimate emotions of a young woman with subtlety, but along with this intimateness and vulnerability, comes an intensity and directness which only the Frenhc language can so masterfully convey.
On the concert she mixed standards with songs composed especially for Stacey by younger French talents. Sensuality, elegance, refinement sounds through all her songs, like "Au coin du monde" (by Biolay-Keren Ann ), "Mi Amor" by Claire Denamur and "Sait-on jamais?" composed by Camille d'Avril and Stacey's saxophonist, producer and husband, Jim Tomlinson. Stacey's sublime band and Tomlinson's arrangements create a fitting "soundscape. "
Stacey masters also wonderfully the Portugese language, and is so able to honour the famous Antonio Carlos Jobim and others, and she brought on the Skoda Jazz Finale a few ever-enchanting standards.
The Flagey building proved a very fitting setting for the finale of the Skoda Jazz Festival...photo by the author
Indeed it was a pure joy to see Stacey and her husband Jim Tomlinson perform at Flagey. Jim not only accompanied her on the saxophone, but also on the guitar, in the concert finale. This concert was also the last concert Stacey Kent played this season, and this made the performance really unique.
In a completely sold out studio 4 at Flagey, this proved to be a ticket to heaven...photo by the author, as all my other photos here taken with my pocket Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W170.
Of course your servant purchased her latest album “Raconte moi” and shares his photos with you of this magnificent concert, already anxiously awaiting the next edition of the Skoda Jazz festival!
Hans Knol ten Bensel
The concert was completely sold out...