Review and Photos by Fred Kuhlman
Venue: Musical Instrument Museum (MIM)
Date: Friday July 12th, 2019
This is my second time to see Jane Monheit perform and both times it has been at the MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) here in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a small venue that has incredible acoustics. Also, there is not a bad seat in the venue. I initial shot form the wings and then moved to my seat that was up near the top. The sound was crystal clear in both areas. I could hear Jane’s voice over all of the instruments clearly and I even heard her husband as he “brushed” the snare drum during one of the songs.
Jane Monheit is a singer that performs jazz, blues and older pop classics. Jane is one of those rare singers that has an “Old Soul” but in a young body. She sings like the jazz masters of the past but adds a modern twist to the old classics. It might be a subtle as an inflection in her voice, the jazzing up of the lyrics or the use of an underlying melody added to the song.
Jane told us that she just completed a set of shows back east where she performed with only a piano player. For this tour Jane is joined on stage by her 3-piece band featuring Andy Langham on Yamaha grand piano, Dave Robaire on upright bass and her husband Rick Montalbano Jr., as the drummer. This was the second show I saw that the MIM that broadcasted the performance to owners of the Yamaha Grand piano. As Dave played on the piano at the MIM, it was transmitted and played on the same piano at people’s houses. Also, the show was simulcast to those people.
They started the show with “Where or When” from Jane’s Ella Project (The Songbook Sessions), an album dedicated to Ella Fitzgerald. Jane also told us that she got her musical style from her father that was a great bluegrass player and her mother who loved jazz. She said she was introduced to music at the very young age of 2 when her grandfather taught her “Honeysuckle Rose”. Jane told us that one of her idles is Bonnie Raitt and Jane’s father taught her Bonnie’s classic “Love Has No Pride”. For tonight’s performance, Jane performed “Love Has No Pride” as a duet with her pianist Andy Langham. Jane ended the set with her rendition of the classic “Over the Rainbow”. Her rendition of this classic bought tears to my eyes and it alone was worth seeing the show. She ended the concert with another Gershwin classic “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”.
If you want to see two of the best renditions of “Over the Rainbow” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”, look up Jane Moheit and these songs on YouTube. Her covers of these songs are phenomenal. It is no wonder Jane is a yearly performer at the MIM. If you get a chance to see Jane perform live, you really need to check her out.
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2019, All Rights Reserved
Jane Monheit’s Setlist at MIM:
Where or When
Its Alright with Me
All of You
Love Has No Pride
Something’s Gotta Give
Love For Sale
Night and Day
Nearness of You
Cheek to Cheek
To Darn Hot
Over The Rainbow
They Can’t Take That Away From Me