VOICES Notes and news on Jazz Vocals releases
28 JAN 09 ANNE FARNSWORTH
Singer Jane Monheit's latest release, The Lovers, The Dreamers And Me, is a delightful salute to songwriters both contemporary and classic. Standard go-to geniuses Cole Porter and Leonard Bernstein share billing with '60's-era scribes Paul Simon and Burt Bacharach, as well as quirky young female writers Fiona Apple and Corinne Bailey Rae.
Speaking of young females, Monheit's star has risen so dramatically in the last few years it's hard to believe she's barely out of her 20s. Sure, the Beyoncés and Britneys of the world are young as well, but Monheit's milieu of cabaret and jazz isn't powered by the same corporate tsunami that washes commercial artists onto nearly every television, computer and iPod on the planet. Talent, energy, and oh yeah, a beautiful, jewel-like voice are the secrets to her success -- topping the jazz charts and producing nine CDs in 10 years, some of them Grammy-nominated.
Along with the title-quoted "Rainbow Connection," all 13 of the selections are "Ahh, I love this one" types of songs. Warm and mellow, like Monheit's voice, Bailey Rae's "Like A Star" flows into the June Cristy classic "Something Cool." Bacharach's "This Girl's In Love With You" merges seamlessly with Jimmy Dorsey's "I'm Glad There Is You." Noted jazz producer Matt Pierson and a stellar group of instrumentalists must share credit for the sound of this recording, as well as what will inevitably be its success as well. But it's Jane who carries the day, a young woman with a mature voice, a clear vision and a decidedly old soul.
Jane Monheit, from The Lovers, the ...