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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality jazz crossover music, 25 April 2005
By 
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Taking A Chance On Love (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. He first made his name as James Taylor's producer before becoming more famous for his work with Linda Ronstadt. I haven't followed his career since then but I'm glad that he's still producing great albums.
The remainder of the album is equally brilliant. Too late now is an excellent ballad featuring four musicians. Next are two Cole Porter songs - Why can't you behave (a great mid-tempo song also featuring four musicians) and Do I love you (a wonderful ballad featuring an orchestra conducted by Alan Broadbent). Then comes a truly inspired version of Love me or leave me, with five musicians. First recorded by Ruth Etting, most people know this from the Doris Day version - she actually recorded it for a tribute movie about Ruth's life, which had plenty of tragedy mixed in with her success. Next is Embraceable you, in which Romero Lumumbo, a guitarist, proves the only musical support for Jane. Dancing in the dark, another classic song, features an orchestra conducted by Vince Mendoza.
Over the rainbow complete an outstanding album. I know -you've heard way too many versions of Over the rainbow and nobody can beat Judy Garland's version. Maybe so, but Judy didn't have the advantage of modern recording technology. While I love Judy's original I know that some (not all) younger listeners, accustomed to the superior sound quality of modern recordings, are unable to accept the limitations inherent in old recordings. Such listeners may prefer Jane's recording. I don't, but I do enjoy it. Actually, if you really want to hear a distinctive version of this song, I recommend the world-weary version that Jerry Lee Lewis recorded in the seventies. It ain't jazz (it's country) but it sure is different from Judy's original. Jane's cover is much more faithful to the original but I love it anyway. Then again, I never tire of hearing the song and I've heard plenty of versions.
I love the traditional ladies of jazz (Billie, Ella and Sarah among them) but there are plenty of great ladies recording great jazz music these days. The influences are there but the current singers all have their own identities. Jane is among the finest of the singers currently around (whatever the critics might say) and seems destined to remain so for many years to come, judged on this album.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful to listen to anytime, 3 Feb 2007
By 
I. MacDonald "Picards Hair" (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Taking A Chance On Love (Audio CD)
This album is a wonderful piece of listening pleasure. This album shows quality throughout from the upbeat and catchy Honeysuckle Rose to the great duet with Michael Buble on I Wont Dance. For me, the wonder of Monheit is the emotional purity of her voice with the phrasing and intonation that leaves you wanting for more.

I disagree with the previous reviewer as Monheit is obviously a lover of many differences genres and not just jazz which can be seen by viewing the tracks from her previous albums that contain standards, easy listening, jazz, Brazilian music, songs from musicals as well as some contemporary songs. And the delivery is far from bland...many of the songs, especially Dancing in the Dark, leave me transfixed and in awe of her voice.

Listen closely and you will find a singer that has a talent and voice unmatched by even Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Taking A Chance On Love, 8 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Taking A Chance On Love (Audio CD)
Taking A Chance On Love
by Jane Monheit
Very Good and highly recommend this cd.
Very Good and highly recommend this cd.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Jazz Crossover Success, 26 Jan 2005
This review is from: Taking A Chance On Love (Audio CD)
We have had a few Mainstream Jazz singers come through in the last couple of years. I have played Katie Melua's album so much and I can't wait for her next album. This album from Jane though nicely fills in the void while I wait. A mixture of a lovely voice and some really good numbers makes this a hugely enjoyable album. I'll be checking out her previous material that's for sure.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better Than Average, 25 Aug 2010
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This review is from: Taking A Chance On Love (Audio CD)
Years ago I saw Monheit on the Parkinson Show and dismissed her as an uninventive routine singer of standards. I recently picked up a cheap 'Best of' set and revised my opinion. Now this. The current batch of female GAS (Great American Songbook) singers will never compete with Fitzgerald but, on her own terms, this CD suggests that Monheit is nearly as good as Krall. (P.S. MUST the publicists try and sell these singers as sultry seductresses? Is the only market that of aging men panting over carefully contrived images?)
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Taking A Chance On Love
Taking A Chance On Love by Jane Monheit (Audio CD - 2004)
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