Review and photos by Fred Kuhlman
Venue: Musical Instrument Museum (MIM)
Date: Sunday Nov 25th, 2018
I knew very little about Jane Monheit when I went to see her at the MIM. However, I am a fan of Jazz music and to hear someone perform Cole Porter and Ella Fitzgerald songs is always a must see. Jane has been professionally singing for 20 years, produced 10 albums, and had 2 recordings nominated for Grammys. I can honestly say that I am how a fan of Jane and her sultry style of jazz. It reminds me of the old movies of the female jazz singers performing in the Speakeasys.
Jane is accompanied by fellow musicians, Andy Langham on grand piano, Dave Robaire on upright bass and her husband, Rick Montalbano Jr. on drums. They blend well with Janes’s singing and at times she lets each band member riff on their own.
The show started with Jane singing “My Foolish Heart”, composed by Victor Young and performed by other greats like Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. Her rendition of Cole Porter’s classic “It’s Alright With Me“ was truly amazing. Another highlights of the evening was when Jane sang “Cheek to Cheek” from the 1935 Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movie Top Hat. She ended the main set by changing the setlist because she wanted to end with a “happy song”. So, she regaled us with a classic Sesame Street favorite, “Sing A Song”. For her encore, Jane came back and sang another Christmas song, “Winter Wonderland”.
I was amazed by how well Jane sounded given that she was fighting a cold. She joked that with a 10-year-old son, she gets every cold that comes around. After the show Jane was signing CDs and talking with quests and you could hear how her voice was straining.
Jane currently resides in California but originally comes from the New York City area. If you get a chance to see her and the band while they are back in the New York area in December it would be a perfect Christmas gift for the jazz aficionado or just a couple looking to a nice night on the town.
You could not wish for a better place to hear this style of music then the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM). The sound was well balance for both her voice and the bands instruments. My only complaint (which I complain about at almost all concerts anywhere) is the lack of stage lighting for photography.
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2018, All Rights Reserved
Jane Monheit Setlist:
My Foolish Heart
All Too Soon
More Than You Know
It’s Alright With Me
Merry Christmas Darling
Something’s Gotta Give
So Many Stars
All Of You
I Can’t Make You Love Me
Cheek To Cheek
Have Yourself a Merry Christmas
Sing A Song