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Jane Monheit

Biography

Jane Monheit was one of many young jazz and classic pop based vocalists to benefit from the rise of Diana Krall in the 1990s. An old world beauty raised on Long Island, the 20 year-old Monheit first came to the public's attention at a prestigious jazz competition that was attended by a bevy of musical legends. Monheit possesses a beautiful, crystal clear tone that sets her apart from most modern singers, in or out of the jazz world. Her chops are more powerful than those of musician/singers such as Diana Krall or Peter Cincotti and she is more approachable in her use of jazz improvisation. Monheit signed with the indie label N-coded and released her debut, Never Never Land, in 2000, kicking off the set with the self-deprecating "Please Be Kind." Monheit needn't have worried, since the CD was a big hit, shooting up to the No. 2 spot in the jazz charts and reaching No. 3 in the then-new Internet sales chart. Her 2001 follow-up did even better, going to the top spot in the jazz charts and featuring a cover of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You" that shows that Monheit could've easily entered the Sarah McLachlan pop realm if she had wished to. In the Sun, released in 2002, grafted lush string arrangements onto a small-group jazz palette, while the next year's Live at the Rainbow surprisingly had more of an old-fashioned, Streisand-in-the-1960s vocal feel to it than her studio albums. Monheit signed to Sony in 2004 and released Taking a Chance On Love, a run-through of the standards originally written for MGM films. Another mix of small-group and orchestral numbers, the album returned Monheit to No. 1 in the jazz charts and showcased her strengths as both a jazz and classic pop vocalist.
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