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The Lovers, The Dreamers and Me

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Album Review

The beautifully subtle pop/jazz vocalist has been one of the great old souls of music since launching her recording career after winning the first runner up prize at the 1998 Thelonious Monk Institute Vocal Competition. But she celebrated the significant chronological milestone of passing 30 while making this graceful and exquisite album. Beyond that, Monheit also celebrates her new motherhood to son Jack, and that's what inspired the inclusion of the always welcome "Rainbow Connection"; she sings the charming song — and its lyrics that inspired the name of the recording — to Jack all the time. At home, however, it doesn't have the exquisite Gil Goldstein accordion touch that makes this one of the best renditions ever. Goldstein arranged many of the tracks, but one of the most exciting jazzy turns, Monheit's swinging, swaggering "Get Out of Town," was done by pianist Michael Kanan, who was part of the ensemble that recorded half of these tracks while the singer was still pregnant. In many ways, then, this 13-track collection is a chronicle of the singer pre- and post-motherhood — and all something that Jack will be proud of as he grows older. As always, the key to a great interpreter's project is the choice of material, and Monheit makes interesting picks, ranging from a wistful take on Paul Simon's "I Do It for Your Love" to Fiona Apple's dark and haunting "Slow Like Honey" and Corinne Bailey Rae's "Like a Star." She also mines her traditional comfort zone with songs by Cole Porter, Jimmy Dorsey, and Leonard Bernstein, but taps into even richer emotions with Ivan Lins' "Acaso" and the bubbling samba "A Primeira Vez." Another triumphant set, no matter what side of 30 or motherhood Monheit is on.

Biography

Born: 03 November 1977 in Long Island, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s, '10s

At the tender age of 20, New York vocalist Jane Monheit was the first runner-up in the 1998 Thelonious Monk Institute vocal competition, winning a $10,000 scholarship to further her musical education. Judges couldn't exactly place her sound, which blended natural elegance with a potent yet impressively controlled presentation, and by 2000, Monheit had joined Diana Krall as one of the most highly touted female talents in jazz. That May she signed to N-Coded and released her debut, Never Never Land....
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The Lovers, The Dreamers and Me, Jane Monheit
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