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Come Dream With Me

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Album Review

Jane Monheit's sophomore outing follows in the same accessible mold as her debut, Never Never Land. The young, fairly green vocalist is joined again by all-star musicians, including renowned pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Christian McBride, and drummer Greg Hutchinson, with Michael Brecker and Tom Harrell making a handful of guest appearances each. Closing the album on a surprising note, African phenom Richard Bona joins for an intimate duo rendition of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You," playing acoustic guitar accompaniment and overdubbing fretless bass filigree behind Monheit's vocal. Monheit's exquisite voice is becoming more seasoned and expressive, particularly on sassier numbers like "Hit the Road to Dreamland" and "I'm Through with Love." She also wraps her seductive charm around Jobim's swaying free-association poem "Waters of March" and takes on two of jazz's grand ballads, Billy Strayhorn's "Something to Live For" and Fran Landesman's "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most." The latter, a duet with Kenny Barron, prompts one to compare and contrast Chaka Khan's rendition with Chick Corea on 1982's Echoes of an Era. "Blame It on My Youth," "I'll Be Seeing You," and "Over the Rainbow" are pleasant but less remarkable. (The hidden 12th track, which features Monheit as a child croaking her way a cappella through "Over the Rainbow," is a harmless bit of self-indulgence.) There are a number of textural enhancements that distinguish this album from its predecessor, including subtle overdubbed background vocals, unobtrusive string orchestrations by Bill Fisher, and general arranging input from the superb young pianist David Berkman. With the Joni Mitchell tune and also with "If," a '70s soft rock hit by Bread, Monheit complicates her image as a retro jazz classicist, which earned her some rather severe critical drubbing when she broke onto the scene in 2000. ~ David R. Adler, Rovi

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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Come Dream With Me, Jane Monheit
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