Apr 18, 2013
Jane Monheit has been a creative whirlwind since the birth of her son almost five years ago. She and her band are almost always touring the major jazz halls of the world; she has recorded and released three albums under her name, as well as a charity holiday single with Sara Gazarek; begun teaching master classes; and honed her skills as a singer-songwriter.
Her latest release, The Heart of the Matter, may be her foremost artistic statement. Always an expressive singer, she has developed skills at writing, and shows the continued ability to choose the right song and the right musicians to compliment her sound. Her core band has never been tighter, and guest appearances by Gil Goldstein (who produced) and guitarist Romero Lubambo are frosting on a delectable confection.
Over the past few records, Ms. Monheit has moved beyond the core Great American Songbook, looking for less recorded, but always top-notch material. As a result, The Heart of The Matter features songs written by Hoagy Carmichael and Mel Torme right alongside those of Randy Newman, Lennon & McCartney and Joe Raposo.
Click here to listen to Podcast 343, where Ms. Monheit and I talk about the new CD, and how her personal life influences her artistic choices. The podcast includes tunes from her recordings, including:
Jane Monheit – “Night Night Stars” from The Heart of the Matter. Written for her son Jack, Jane had shrugged the song off as too weak for the album, but Gil Goldstein wisely thought otherwise.
Jane Monheit – “Dependes De Nos” from The Heart of the Matter. Jane has wisely continued working her way through the Ivan Lins songbook, here including shimmering takes on “A Gente Merece Ser Feliz “ and this sensual tune.
Jane Monheit – “Golden Slumbers/The Long and Winding Road” from The Heart of the Matter. A winning medley of two later Lennon & McCartney gems, with the band’s sound colored wonderfully by the cellos of David Eggar and Richard Locker, with Goldstein adding flourishes on electric piano.
Jane Monheit – “Embraceable You” from Taking a Chance on Love. Listeners to these podcasts know of my admiration for the musical contributions Romero Lubambo brings to recordings, and Ms. Monheit is also a fan. Here she sings an uncluttered version of the Gershwin standard with the Brazilian guitarist, who features prominently on the new CD.