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Taking a Chance on Love

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Audio CD, September 7, 2004
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Product Description

Has had 3 studio CD's & 1 Live CD & DVD on independent label N-Coded. Includes 12 romantic songs born in the glamorous era of MGM musicals. 1st impact track "Honeysuckle Rose" being serviced to NPR, Jazz, Classical & Adult Radio outlets. Features duet with multi-million selling artist, Michael Bubl‚.

On her fourth album, Taking A Chance On Love, singer Jane Monheit makes her leap to the majors and the fit is a good one. As she's proven on past efforts, Monheit is a traditional stylist who expertly mines American standards by balancing pop's accessible sensibility and jazz's rich complexity. The material could be, and has been, in worse hands than Monheit's--her exceptional technique again brings these songs to life without taking liberties with structure, melody or odd arrangements. It's her exceptional execution, tonal palette, and phrasing that gives these songs a sense of artistry. She also gets subtle support from an impressive cast of sidemen (including guest singer Michael Buble, bassists Ron Carter and Christian McBride, and guitarist Romero Lubambo) in a variety of contexts, ranging from jazz combos to orchestra to vocal-and-single-instrument duets. Highlights include the tender "Embraceable You," the lushly orchestrated "Dancing in Dark" and the jaunty bebop version of "Honeysuckle Rose." –-Tad Hendrickson
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 7, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • ASIN: B0002JP4K0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,763 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Michael Harris on October 10, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Jane Monheit has a lovely -- if not quite beautiful -- voice that she puts to fairly effective use on most of the songs on this album. I have to agree with a previous reviewer that her diction tends to be a bit distracting ("fer" for "for" is only one example) as she wends her way through some of the most beautiful popular songs of the twentieth century. I also have to say that in some cases she seems to be singing the words to the song, but not the song itself; in other words, she doesn't seem to have a consistent emotional investment in all the songs, and the investment she has, in most cases, isn't very convincing. Nevertheless, whatever quibbles and criticisms I might have concerning Jane's voice and delivery are overcome by what I must say is her absolutely impeccable taste in music: Cole Porter, Burton Lane, and Harold Arlen among other tin pan ally greats are well-represented on the album, and Jane provides her most moving work on the gorgeous, glorious and too-seldom-heard "Too Late Now." Actually, this song was the reason I bought the album, and I definitely feel that I got my money's worth. And, by the way, maybe some other of today's "girl singers" will take a tip from Jane and start singing great songs instead of the drivel on which most of them are wasting their, in some cases exceptional,talents.
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Format: Audio CD
Jane Monheit, who is greatly influenced by the First Lady of Jazz, Ella Fitzgerald, glows in this recording produced by two of the renowned names in the music and recording industry, Peter Asher (famed Peter & Gordon) and Al Schmitt. Ms. Monheit could well be among the newest divas in the jazz scene today. Her voice has a classic touch and her interpretations of these gorgeous and timeless standards are so remarkable.

My personal favorite tracks are the following:

"TOO LATE NOW," an Alan Jay Lerner/Burton Lane composition. It's worth not only a listen but also multiple listens. The music and words, the soprano saxophone by Joel Frahm, piano and arrangement by Michael Kanan, drums by Rick Montalbano, bass by Orlando Le Fleming and Jane Monheit's rendition make this song a real winner.

"Too late now to forget your smile
Too late now to forget your voice
Too late now to imagine myself away from you
All the things we've done together
I relive when we're apart
All the tender fun together stays on in my heart
How could I ever close the door
and be the same as I was before?
Darling, no, no I can't anymore
It's too late now."

"EMBRACEABLE YOU," one of the most popular compositions of George & Ira Gershwin. This track is just fabulous and charming, accompanied only by the terrific guitar playing of Romero Lubambo. Another track that deserves endless listens!

"IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT," a Cole Porter classic rendered beautifully with a bossa nova touch, orchestra conducted by Jorge Calandrelli.

"DO I LOVE YOU?" another Cole Porter gem, arranged and conducted by one of the finest and talented musicians of all-time, Alan Broadbent.
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40 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Frank Garon on December 17, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Come Dream With Me and Never Never Land were so, soooooooooo good, but Jane put the fear of God in me with that clunker "Into The Sun".

Oy vey, did I ever think my days of dreaming out my window at 2am and tripping on old love songs had come to a cruel and ignoble end with that debacle.

There is indeed a God, however. Jane is back and as good as ever with this worthy collection of titles. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

To be honest, "Bill" is worth the price alone. She just hits it on that song, I've listened to it at least 15 times so far, and call me a sentimental old fool but I still get goosebumps...

Throw in "Too Late Now", and you've got two songs that are just about perfect. The rest of the CD is just a wonderful bonus, as far as I am concerned. I really like everything else except "Honeysuckle Rose".

I think Jane came out of the gate strong with her first two CDs, fumbled with "Into The Sun (sorry, but I just DON'T "get it"...), and has really bounced back here. She's a wonderful voice, and I can only wish her godspeed. I'm hoping she keeps on picking the kinds of songs she does best, because I can't get enough of her!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Peter Durward Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 25, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Billie, Ella and Sarah were great singers of their time although Billie is better appreciated now than in her lifetime while Ella and Sarah took a decade or two to really establish their reputations. This is only Jane's fourth album so maybe she has time to win over the critics yet. Jane won me over with her very first album - her magnificent voice enabling her to record wonderful interpretations of classic songs. This album provides further proof of Jane's brilliance.

The set begins in upbeat style with a great version of Honeysuckle Rose (the Fats Waller classic) with simple but brilliantly effective accompaniment by Geoffrey Keezer (piano), Christian McBride (bass) and Lewis Nash (drums). Next comes the first of three Cole Porter songs on the album, the superb ballad In the still of the night, this time featuring an orchestra conducted by Jorge Calandrelli. Third up is the title track, a bight and breezy song featuring five musicians - Michael Kanan (piano), Orlando Le Fleming (bass), Rick Montalbano (drums), Donald Harrison (alto saxophone) and Miles Okazaki (rhythm guitar). The fourth track is an outstanding ballad, Bill, in which Michael Kanan on piano is the only musician backing Jane. It works superbly. Very different but equally brilliant is the next track, I won't dance, a duet with Michael Buble with an eight-piece horn section and three other musicians.

Thus, the first five tracks are all performed with very different musical backings but each is brilliant in its own way. Somehow, the album hangs together despite the contrasts. This highlights the brilliance of the co-producers, Peter Asher and Al Schmitt. Pop and rock music know about Peter Asher - he started as one half of the singing duo, Peter and Gordon, in the sixties before becoming a record producer.
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