Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

305

Jane Monheit: Come Dream With Me

Mathew Bahl By

Sign in to view read count
Two things should have been obvious to anyone who listened to Jane Monheit’s debut CD, Never Never Land. First, Ms. Monheit, with her lovely crystaline soprano and solid musicianship, was a singer with an abundance of raw talent. Second, given her youth, good looks and conservative repertoire, Ms. Monheit’s commercial success was likely to far outpace her artistic growth.

Unfortunately, judging from her lackluster sophomore CD, Come Dream With Me, Ms. Monheit, or her handlers, have made the mistake of confusing CD sales with artistic stature. The arrogant and wrongheaded presumption underlying this disc appears to be a belief that everything Ms. Monheit does is inherently great. As a result, no effort has been made to focus the singer’s gifts. The unaffected sincerity evident on her first CD has largely been replaced by preening self-indulgence.

Take, for example, the opening track, a florid version of “Over the Rainbow.” If that tune will always remain Judy Garland’s personal property, singers like Jimmy Scott and Eva Cassidy have demonstrated that, with enough investment, the song can at least be leased. Ms. Monheit, however, fails to come up with a security deposit. For all of the beauty of her voice, her performance is anemic. She sounds more involved with her own singing of the tune rather than with the tune itself.

Ms. Monheit seems to choose songs she likes rather than songs she has the ability to sing. She fails to appreciate that if you are going to record a well-known song, you have an obligation to try to add something new to our collective understanding of the tune. Otherwise, all you are doing is wallowing in a shallow pool of easy listening nostalgia. Ms. Monheit’s performances of songs like Billy Strayhorn’s “Something to Live For” and Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You” lack either the musical or the interpretative authority to justify their existence. She does better on a tune like “Blame It On My Youth” where her naiveté actually serves to underscore the meaning of the age-appropriate lyric.

The brief attempts to turn up the tempo are hardly more successful. A playful “I’m Through With Love” starts off delightfully, but Ms. Monheit seems to lose her way as the tune progresses. On “Waters of March,” she fails to account for the structural differences between Brazilian tunes and their American Songbook counterparts, and so she stomps when she should glide. The banality of her melodic embellishments and scat singing on “Hit the Road to Dreamland” make you wish she had given those choruses over to the musicians, who, despite being world class soloists all, are generally confined to the background.

Come Dream With Me sounds like the work of a young singer pretending to be a great singer. With any luck, Ms. Monheit will eventually grow tired of the charade and get on with learning how to become the genuine article.

Track Listing: Over the Rainbow; Hit the Road to Dreamland; Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most; Waters of March; I'm Through with Love; I'll be Seeing You; Something to Live For; So Many Stars; If; Blame it on My Youth; A Case of You.

Personnel: Jane Monheit: vocals; Kenny Barron: piano; Christian McBride: acoustic bass, electric bass (9); Gregory Hutchinson: drums; Tom Harrell: trumpet; Michael Brecker: tenor saxophone; Richard Bona: acoustic guitar and fretless bass (11).

Title: Come Dream With Me | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: N-Coded Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Catching Up With
Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald

Songbook Sessions:...

Emerald City Records
2016

buy
The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald

The Songbook...

Emerald City Records
2016

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Jul9Tue
Jane Monheit
City Winery
Atlanta, GA
Jul10Wed
Jane Monheit
City Winery - Nashville
Nashville, TN
Jul11Thu
Jane Monheit
City Winery Boston
Boston, MA
Jul12Fri
Jane Monheit
Musical Instrument Museum
Phoenix, AZ
Sep19Thu
Jane Monheit
Iridium
New York, NY
Sep20Fri
Jane Monheit
Iridium
New York, NY
Sep20Fri
Jane Monheit
Iridium
New York, NY

Related Articles

Read Nexus Album Reviews
Nexus
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 23, 2019
Read The Second Coming Album Reviews
The Second Coming
By Daniel Barbiero
May 23, 2019
Read Luminária Album Reviews
Luminária
By John Sharpe
May 23, 2019
Read Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band Album Reviews
Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band
By Jerome Wilson
May 23, 2019
Read When Will The Blues Leave Album Reviews
When Will The Blues Leave
By Karl Ackermann
May 22, 2019
Read Infinite Itinerant Album Reviews
Infinite Itinerant
By Geno Thackara
May 22, 2019
Read Pulcino Album Reviews
Pulcino
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 22, 2019