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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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JANE MONHEIT

Taking a Chance on Love

Columbia Records 92495

 

 

       

    1. Honeysuckle Rose
    2. In the Still of the Night
    3. Takin’ a chance on Love
    4. Bill
    5. I Won’t Dance
    6. Too Late Now
    7. Why Can’t You Behave?
    8. Do I love you
    9. I Should care
    10. Love Me or Leave Me
    11. Embraceable You
    12. Dancing in the Dark
    13. Somewhere Over the Rainbow

     

    Unfortunately the pre-release copy of this album, which I received for review has no detailed notes and Jane Monheit will not be well known to many UK jazz enthusiasts. That is a great pity, because she is a very fine singer indeed and at 27 she has the experience to enable a superb performance on every track.

    Born in 1977, she grew up in Oakdale, Long Island. She was born into a musical family and began singing at a very early age. At school she studied clarinet and music theory, but it was singing that was her first love and Ella Fitzgerald her idol.

    Her formal vocal training took place at New York City’s prestigious Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Peter Eldridge a founding member of the vocal group New York Voices. At 20 years of age she was runner up in the 1998 Thelonius Monk Institute Competition and this launched her career in the big time jazz world.

    She has made several previous albums, on one called Never Never Land, she sings ballads with the likes of Ron Carter, Kenny Barron, Lewis Nash and Bucky Pizzarelli, these guys only work with the best. Unfortunately I have not been able to track down the composition of the backing groups, but they are top class.[see footnote]

    Jane’s singing is nothing short of sensational; she has drawn from the ‘greats’ of the past, like Ella and Sarah and developed a style of her own. She has all the assets required of a great singer, perfect intonation and tuning, a fine jazz feel, inventive delivery and the ability to make a song sound very special when she sings it. Too Late Now is a fine example.

    I recommend very strongly that you trackthis disc down. I’m sure that if you like a fine jazz vocalist, who sings the songs her way, but does not make them unrecognisable, this album is for you. She has a male singing partner on I Won’t Dance, but who it is, I don’t know, but the band swings like mad!

     

    Don Mather

    [Footnote]
    Detail from Sony website

    One of today's hottest jazz singers and already an established star at the age of 26, Jane Monheit makes her Sony Classical recording debut with "Taking A Chance On Love," the new album featuring classic songs from the glamorous era of the MGM musicals. The album celebrates what Jane does best, delivering fresh interpretations of these classic songs by combining an unabashed, retro sense with a softly modern sensibility.

    "Taking A Chance On Love" also marks Jane's first collaboration with producers Peter Asher and Al Schmitt, each the winner of multiple Grammy® Awards for work with such artists as Diana Krall, Linda Ronstadt, and others. Singing sensation and best-selling artist Michael Bublé joins Jane in a special duet of "I Won't Dance." Jazz greats Christian McBride, Ron Carter and guitarist Romero Lubambo round out guest artist appearances.

    Jane sings in a variety of musical settings on the album; backed by two small combos and in lush orchestral settings ("Dancing in the Dark," "In the Still of the Night" and "Do I Love You?").

    The album's bonus track is a newly recorded version of the Oscar-winning standard "Over The Rainbow," which will be featured as the end title song in the Fall blockbuster film Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow.

    Ever since wowing the judges at the 1998 Thelonious Monk Competition -when she was only 20- Jane Monheit has emerged as one of the premiere jazz talents of her generation. With three solo albums to her credit, and having held previous positions at the top of the Billboard Jazz chart, "Taking A Chance On Love" is a stunning showcase for this young artist and an album that will surely catapult Jane to the forefront of the marketplace.

     

     



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