Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Jane and the Band Really Cook!
Kenneth M. Gelwasser | Hollywood, Fl USA | 03/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For anyone living under a musical rock, Jane Monheit is a superb, classically trained, jazz vocalist, who is among a new breed of performers (Diana Krall, Peter Cincotti, Michael Bubble) who are breathing new life into the standards of the 'Great American Song Book'. It seems the folks at her recording label, Sony Classical, have developed a winning formula for marketing this young women with the big voice. First, they release one of her exquisite jazz CDs and then shortly after they follow it up with a DVD that has a live performance, that features a set list of the CD's songs. This was done in the past her 2002 release "Into the Sun" ,which was later followed by the DVD release "Live From the Rainbow Room". Now, the formula is followed once again with the wonderful DVD release, "Taking a Chance on Love". This is Jane Monheit, in-concert at the Brecon International Jazz Festival performing songs from her CD of the same name. Most of the songs have been culled from the great old MGM/RKO musicals from the days of yesteryear. She features the works of songwriters such as Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Oscar Hammerstein and Jerome Kern. The stage setting is marvelous. There are silky drapes and dramatic colored lighting (though I could do without the giant neon, JM sign). It feels like we have stepped back in time to either old style, Vegas or a classic, splashy, tecnicolored MGM musical. Jane comes to the stage and with, that beautiful, muscular yet velvety voice, opens with the Waller standard, "Honey Suckle Rose". The song is fast and free in tempo. It is immediately evident, that this vocalist has picked musicians, who are just as talented and superb as she is. In other words, these guys can really cook together! They make up a small band, that includes brilliant pianist & arranger Michael Kanan, bassist Orlando Fleming, drummer Rick Montalbano and guitarist, Miles Okazaki. The set flows light and easily from Cole Porter's humorous and slightly naughty, "Why Can't You Behave" to the serene and emotional reading of "Dancing in the Dark". Other wonderful readings from Monheit include the lovely "Showboat" tune, "Bill" and the Porter standard "In the Still of the Night". I particularly was most moved by her version of Gershwin's "Embraceable You". She is join only by special guest Dori Caymi on acoustic guitar. The duet of these two talented people, breathes new life into the song and is just simply beautiful. Monheit has a light and bubbley personality, that seems to just light up the stage. She seems truely interested in getting across to her audience, how much she loves this music. Monheit has also improved her stage presence since the last DVD. Gone are most of the large physical mannerisms and the heavy make-up, that was a bit distacting to her performance. The DVD itself is first rate! Both the picture & sound are crystal clear. If I were an audio/video manufacturer or retailer, this is the CD I would want to use to demo my equipment with. It's that beautiful! If I have any problems with this release its, that the performance is just to darn short! Fifty-five minutes (the box claims sixty) is just not enough time! Your just groovn' along with this band and suddenly it ends, leaving you wanting more! The show ends with a very fast paced, somewhat rushed version of Jobim's "Waters of March" (the only song not found on the companion CD). But I can't complain too much. After viewing such a talented vocalist, performing with a top notch band, all I can say is... buy this DVD! Highly recommended!"
'Honeysuckle Rose' was written up-tempo
Arthur Craig | 04/26/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I just had to comment on one previous review of this DVD.
The song 'Honeysuckle Rose' was wriiten as an up-tempo swing piece by Fats Waller. Ella Fitzgerald sang it that way, as did Louis Armstrong and many others. The song was never meant to be "sultry" or "sexy" in any way.
Jane Monheit's performance follows in that tradition. In no way does she 'butcher' the song, as one reviewer (a fan of Yes and Pink Floyd) suggests."