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Friday, 19 April, 2002, 09:41 GMT 10:41 UK
My Music: Stacey Kent
Stacey Kent
Jazz singer Stacey Kent is making waves far outside the often inward-looking world of jazz.

TV appearances on Parkinson in the UK and her own show on BBC Radio 3 have led to the unusual feat of having three albums in the top 10 at once.

There have been the inevitable comparisons with Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holliday, appropriately enough for Kent, who grew up in New York.

She formed a group with her husband, saxophonist Jim Tomlinson, and released her first record in 1996.

What was the most recent album you bought?

Bela Fleck, Perpetual Motion

Where do you most like listening to music, and why?

Almost everywhere - in every room at home, in the car, on my headphones when I'm out jogging or while I'm travelling. The question for me should be "Where don't you listen?"

What songs do you sing in the bath?

This question makes me laugh because it's such a topic of conversation at home - according to my husband, I sing everything and anything!

Apparently, I have a rather eclectic repertoire in the bath and don't even know it. The almost daily scene goes like this: I step out of the bathroom and Jim asks, "What made you think of that song?"

"What song?"

Are there any songs you can't listen to because they remind you of something you'd rather forget? Can you say what it is?

Yes. No.

What song always makes you cry?

There is a song written by Dave Frishberg and Johnny Mandel, called You Are There. I recorded it on my album, Dreamsville, but I only ever sang it on the session and have not sung it since.

It is just so sad that, as much as I love to sing this beautiful song, I don't think I could do it live without tears.

What was the first album you ever bought?

I remember my first purchase so clearly - it was of two albums, Carol King's Really Rosie and Ella and Duke at the Cote d'Azur. I remember coming home and struggling with which one to put on first.

Which is your favourite song?

Too difficult a question but it has to be something by Paul Simon. Maybe Me And Julio Down By The School Yard, as it lives in the number one slot on my car CD changer and is the first thing I put on whenever I get on the road.

Which song by another artist do you wish you had written?

From a financial point of view, White Christmas.

I don't really have this wish, but I guess if I were a songwriter, I'd want to be Paul Simon.

Do you prefer CDs or vinyl? Why?

CDs. Convenience.

Roughly how many records are there in your collection?


How long do you spend browsing in record shops?

These days I spend less time browsing in record stores, but I remember spending hours as a student in Tower Records on 66 St in NY, trying to decide which one to take home, out of the 20 CDs that I had collected from around the store. I often spent a whole evening.

Which artists do you currently most admire?

Macy Gray. She has a great, unusual voice and writes wonderful, whacky songs.

Which music websites do you visit regularly? - I do all my shopping online these days. And to see where I'm headed next!

If you organised your dream music festival, who would you have as headline act - and any supporting acts?

If you really mean a "dream" festival, I would love to see Mozart play the piano. After that, any supporting acts would seem a bit pointless.

Stacey Kent's latest CD is In Love Again, on Candid Records

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