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VINE VOICEon December 2, 2010
Jane Monheit demonstrates her well-deserved place as a silky-smooth jazz singer with the release of "Home," a compilation of songs almost exclusively from the Great American Songbook. It is her first album with Emarcy/Universal, and also the first album she produced herself. With this, she was driven to realize her vision of what the CD should be, and to do what she wanted to do in the absence of anyone's assistance. Well, except for her band, consisting of Michael Kanan (piano), Neal Miner (bass), and Rick Montalbano (drums, and husband). With the new addition of their son to their pack, along with the return to the standard songbook, the title "Home" can be interpreted in multiple levels.

Though admittedly this CD was not immediately my to-die-for favorite from Jane, I listened to it a lot on several road trips from San Francisco to So. California and I have grown to appreciate it more and more. I enjoyed her duet with John Pizzarelli in "Tonight You Belong To Me," and also her arrangement and rendition of "Look For The Silver Lining." My wife and I enjoyed her performance in the Bay Area back in June, and eagerly anticipated the release "Home." This is one CD that will stay in my iPod for a long time. Highly recommended.
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on September 25, 2010
In this outing Jane re-affirms that she is, primarily, a jazz singer; and does so in a setting that allows her to fully display her skills. Accompanied by no more than five instrumentalists on any track, in fact 2 of the 12 tracks are duets while 4 feature Monheit backed by just her regular working trio (piano,bass,drums). The content? All, save for one contribution from pianist/composer Larry Goldings, are fine selections from the Great American Songbook. The result is a recording that closely reflects what one would hear at one Jane's live shows. I might add that since giving birth to her son, Jane's voice has actually improved, gaining a couple of notes at the lower end of her range and maturing a bit. I like!
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"Music binds us together with harmonies that are part of the galaxies and all the stars in their courses. Music heals, music releases emotions. Music we hear with each other is indeed more than music." ~ Madeleine L'Engle ~

Last night I pulled out a very old issue of Victoria (November 1995) from my collection and re-read an article written by Madeleine L'Engle titled "Giving Love A Memory, Melody A Tune." The above quote caught my fancy and it stirred and reactivated my spirit-to-write, which has been back-burnered for a long time because of my other passion--jewelry designing and handcrafting--which is very time-consuming. As a result, I have lost my "Top 500 Reviewer" status. I have been unfaithful so my dear AMZN took it away from me! :( Although I'm not really particular about ranking, it's always marvelous to have a badge of "Top Reviewer." It's a great feeling and it makes a reviewer more enthused and inspired in the process. One of my New Year's resolutions is to write more reviews--at least two to three CDs a week--if time permits. I love reviewing music and intend to keep it going as I still have more unreviewed CDs from my collection and if ever I run out of it, it's time to tackle my late father's collection of vinyl records. :)

Jane Monheit's "Home" reflects an understated sophistication that restores the time-tested standards to their original splendor. It is the kind of music that "heals and releases emotions." It exudes a wide range of emotions from gladness to sadness, from bliss to loneliness. And when you listen to it with someone special, it indeed becomes "more than music."

The material from this 2010 recording is tastefully chosen which includes some of the greatest works of Duke Ellington, Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin, Harry Warren, Jerome Kern, among others. The renditions are impeccable, arrangements are fresh, ingenious, inspired, and musicianship is top-notch. What I loved most about it is the presence of Mark O'Connor who is one of the finest violin players in the field of jazz. He plays a hauntingly-beautiful solo in a medley of Duke Ellington's gems, "I Didn't Know About You"/"All Too Soon." I have to admit during the first time I listened to this CD, I forwarded it to this track and enjoyed it endlessly before listening to the rest of the tracks. Everything about this medley is so adorable. That lovely sound of violin made it even more precious. Amidst the violin solo is the exotic and romantic sound of guitar played sublimely by a great guitarist, Frank Vignola. Pianist Michael Kanan, bassist Neal Miner and drummer Rick Montalbano complete the line-up of "mean" musicians who are responsible for the sheer beauty of the very best track from this set.

O'Connor also plays solo that is reminiscent of the King of Violin Stephane Grappelli's style in bubbly and effervescent "Everything I've Got Belongs To You." Kanan, a seasoned jazz pianist and a mainstay in Monheit's recordings, solely accompanies the singer in one of the very best tracks, Irving Berlin's "Isn't It A Lovely Day."

Who wouldn't be deeply touched with her heartrending take on "I'll Be Around?" Her expressive, emotive vocal flair perfectly complements the subtle bass and drums, fully focusing on, and emphasizing the eloquent piano chops of Kanan.

Guest singer Peter Eldridge provides the other remarkable vocals on "It's Only A Smoke," an original composition by Larry Goldings and Cliff Goldmacher. Your ears will be treated to two melodiously-blended voices with spotless piano accompaniment by Goldings himself.

Another noteworthy duet is "Tonight You Belong To Me" with singer/guitarist John Pizzarelli who shows off not only his unique vocal style but also his terrific flair in guitar playing. It's ever so nice to hear two harmonious voices with the sound of a brilliant guitar. This is the shortest but the sweetest track.

Not to be outdone and also one of my favorites is "This Is Always" where Monheit's heartfelt reading includes the introductory verse that made it the ultimate interpretation of this precious pearl from Harry Warren and Mack Gordon. This track has the backing of Kanan on piano, Miner on bass and Montalbano on drums.

Not only this album offers memorable moments of beauty in vocal jazz, the disc itself is very attractive! It's pink! It's an added treat to anyone who loves everything pink, like me.
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VINE VOICEon September 28, 2010
Any new recording from Monheit, one of my favorite singers, is always more than welcome. That said, this isn't my favorite of her albums. "Home," a self-produced effort, certainly has a homemade feel to it, but to me that translates into a kind of slapdash looseness and an almost improvisational quality that, oddly, doesn't show off Monheit to her best advantage. Her voice sounds thinner and less solidly in control than in the past, and she doesn't seem to inhabit any of the material; these are pretty superficial renditions, lacking Monheit's usual emotional depth.

I download music, so don't have any liner notes that might explain the thinking behind the project; perhaps the offhandedness is the point. But "Home" feels almost UNproduced, as if Monheit and her musicians simply sat down and did their thing; it sounds as if the recordings were done live, and left as is. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but neither does it suggest a guiding hand that might have created a cohesive whole out of its disparate parts.

As far as the selection of tunes, it's less interesting to me than on previous discs. ("I'll Be Around" being a notable exception.) The one new tune is negligible, and I could do without the cutesy duet with John Pizzarelli.

If you're a Monheit fan, you're going to get the album, and will, hopefully, like it more than I. But if you're just looking into this remarkably talented performer, this isn't the album with which to start.
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on January 12, 2013
I first heard Jane Monheit, live, in 2001 at the Park City Jazz Festival in Park City, Utah. I've been kinda smitten ever since. Her last couple of albums have left me kinda cold. I didn't even buy "Surrender" and there's really only a couple songs I like on "The Lovers the Dreamers and Me," however this album feels more like the first few that made me fall in love with her in the first place.
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on October 31, 2010
This latest effort from Jane Monheit is a strong effort from a young and rapidly maturing improvisatory voice on the jazz scene. She loves to experiment, and that makes it fun to follow.
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on April 4, 2015
This is my new favorite CD. I play it several times a day. The songs are classics and the voice is beautiful. I'm a new fan and will be buying more of Jane Monheit's music. She is a super star.
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on July 7, 2011
I would highly recommend this CD, I love its intimate mood and it really brings you home... Jane is splendid as always, as well as her band. I also enjoy her duets with male performers.
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on August 18, 2014
As per usual her singing and song choices are excellent. I would highly recommend this album and believe she will be around for a long time making great music.
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on May 9, 2013
I usually get every Jane Monheit album the minute it's released, but for some reason, I skipped this one until now. I'm sorry i waited so long!
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