(2-LP set) Vocally, Ms. Kent has never sounded better. And there is so much to admire: her dulcet-toned mezzo soprano, with its shimmery jazz lilt and translucent vibrato, her innate sense of swing and instinctive timing, her subtly shaded line readings, and the exquisite delicacy of her phrasing. A master storyteller and communicator, Ms Kent also brings a comparative literature graduate's acute interpretive skills to her singing, eschewing shopworn sentimentality for a piquant romantic lyricism. "The Boy Next Door", is a heartfelt and reverent tribute to her musical heroes, which include legendary crooners Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, octogenarian jazz master Dave Brubeck and Manhattan cabaret doyen Bobby Short.
The stylish jazz chanteuse's repertoire also finds her working outside the Great American Songbook for the first time, with contributions from latter-day pop songwriters Burt Bacharach, Paul Simon and Carole King. Ms Kent puts her own indelible stamp on each number as she weaves her magic on a delectable collection of pop-jazz standards that encompass infatuation, seduction, love, loss and reminiscence.