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Title Highly Recommended
Title Show Information
JANE MONHEIT with special guest MARK O'CONNOR

2011-08-09
Showtime: 8:00PM
Doors Open at 6:00PM

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$20.00 $35.00




[ Complete Show Schedule... ]
Jane Monheit w/ special guest Mark O'Connor
FEATURING:
Jane Monheit, vocals
Mark O'Connor, violin
Other musicians, TBA

An extraordinarily gifted jazz vocalist whose sincere and romantic interpretations of exceptional songs have made her a favorite in both the jazz and cabaret worlds, Jane Monheit has garnered numerous accolades in the past decade. Her first album, Never Never Land, was voted top debut recording by the Jazz Journalist’s Association and stayed on the Billboard Jazz chart for over a year. Subsequent albums either charted high, or in several cases, debuted at number one, and they yielded two Grammy nominations in the Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals category, recognizing the work of Vince Mendoza on 2002’s In The Sun and 2004’s Taking A Chance On Love.

Now, Monheit celebrates the tenth anniversary of her remarkable recording career with her most mature, heartfelt album yet: Home, a collection of standards that represents a passionate return to her roots as a jazz musician. The CD features the band she has worked with onstage and off for most of her career, as well as special guests such as John Pizzarelli, Mark O’Connor, and Larry Goldings. This is her first album for Emarcy/Universal, is the first album she's made in its entirety since becoming a mother (her son was born halfway through the recording of her previous album), and also marks her debut as sole producer of a recording.



On the whole, Home is arguably the loveliest and lightest album of Monheit’s 10-CD discography. The album opens with the bright, swinging “A Shine On Your Shoes," which Monheit first heard as a child in one of her favorite films, 1953’s The Bandwagon. Guitarist Frank Vignola, a constant collaborator and friend of the band, contributes. Following this tune is Monheit’s charming take on Rodgers and Hart’s “There’s A Small Hotel," which also features close family friend Joe Magnarelli on trumpet.

The slow and sweet “This Is Always” (Mack Gordon and Harry Warren) was recorded by Monheit once before (and later discarded) for her third album, In The Sun. On “Tonight You Belong To Me," Monheit settles in with John Pizzarelli for a cozy duet, accompanied only by John’s guitar. Next up is “Look For The Silver Lining," one of Montalbano’s all-time favorite songs. This tune is followed by a delicate and moving rendition of the Alec Wilder and William Engvick ballad “I’ll Be Around," which, with Kanan’s arrangement, says Monheit, is “pure musical theater.”

Violinist Mark O’Connor, who enlisted Monheit to record on a past project, returns the favor on two tracks: the swinging, humorous “Everything I’ve Got Belongs To You," and the Duke Ellington romance “I Didn’t Know About You," seamlessly linked to his “All Too Soon." As for O’Connor’s contribution, Monheit says, “Mark is a genius - the loveliest, sweetest player. Plus, I grew up listening to his music ... my father plays banjo, so there was a lot of bluegrass and folk music in the house. I am honored every time I sing with Mark.”

Other highlights include a soulful take on Arlen and Harburg’s “The Eagle And Me," the warm-hearted Kanan and Monheit duet on “Isn’t It A Lovely Day” (Michael and I feature duets in every show and on every album,” she says), and the sweeping waltz “While We’re Young," another nod to musical theater that serves as the album's endsong.

The only non-standard on Home is one of the album’s most moving pieces, “It’s Only Smoke," composed by Larry Goldings and Cliff Goldmacher. On the tune, Goldings plays piano and Monheit is joined by vocalist Peter Eldridge, with whom she studied during her years at Manhattan School of Music. “I’ve known Peter since I was fourteen, and we’ve loved singing together for so long. This was the perfect tune for us to record together. This is the first time I’ve played with Larry, although I’ve been a huge fan for many years. His songs move me so much, and this one affected me particularly deeply. It floated in my head for days, to a point where I was living the song. It was that intense, especially because singing with Peter is so special to me.”

On Home, Monheit has upped the ante in her career by digging deep into what brought her to this music in the first place: great songs and her passion for interpreting them. This return to the heart of who she is, and the fearless honestly with which she imparts her musical truth, lend great maturity and sincerity to the album. Her closeness to these songs and the musicians who play them are what Home is all about.


A product of America's rich aural folk tradition as well as classical music, violinist Mark O'Connor began his creative journey at the feet of a pair of musical giants. The first was the folk fiddler and innovator who created the modern era of American fiddling, Benny Thomasson; the second, French jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli, considered one of the greatest improvisers in the history of the violin. Along the way, between these marvelous musical extremes, O'Connor absorbed knowledge and influence from the multitude of musical styles and genres he studied. Now, at age 49, he has melded and shaped these influences into a new American Classical music, and a vision of an entirely American school of string playing. As The Los Angeles Times recently noted, he has "crossed over so many boundaries, that his style is purely personal."

O'Connor has sold over two million CDs as a recording artist and is a prolific composer. Many of his pieces are staples in the contemporary violin repertoire, including his Fiddle Concerto, the most-performed modern violin concerto composed in the last 40 years. He has also created his own teaching method, the O'Connor Violin Method, which is the first curriculum to feature all American music. The New Yorker raved that the method is "an American grown rival to the Suzuki method."

 

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