Jim Tomlinson The Lyric Review

Album. Released 2006.  

BBC Review

Third album from tenor saxophonist Tomlinson, here with partner Stacey Kent...

Gordon Miller 2006

Even though this is Tomlinson's third album as leader, he's probably best known as partner (in both a musical and marital sense) to singer Stacey Kent.Like many saxophonists before him, Tomlinson is a great believer in familiarising himself with the lyrics of a song (hence the album title), and it shows in the easy fluidity and warmth of his delivery. It probably doesn't hurt working with a great singer either.

Unsurprisingly this is an album of standards; we get everyone fromJobim to Hoagy Carmichael to Luis Bonfa. Kent sings on 10 of the 13 songsand is as ever, impeccable; it's hard not to warm to her singular way with a tune.

Similarly Tomlinson's tenor is unfussy yet sophisticated - the shadows of Stan Getz and Lester Young loom large. Dave Newton, Dave Chamberlain and Matt Skelton offer deft, concise support and in Newton's case, some sparkling solos too.

Tomlinson and Kenthandlebossa, breezy swing and fragile balladry with deceptive ease on this beguiling release. It's good to hear that craft, dedication and integrity still have a place in British Jazz. Recommended.

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