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  February 2009  
Jane Monheit interview page 3

Jazz Monthly:  But isn’t that what we did as kids?

JM:  Oh yeah.

Jazz Monthly:  In front of the mirror or when we were alone, we got into character about things that we loved or admired.

JM:  Yeah, and I think it’s just another way to be a good singer.  Not every song has to be a soul bearing, heart-on-my-sleeve-like experience moment.  I mean, I do a lot of that, but it’s fun to be an actress too.  It’s really, really fun.

Jazz Monthly:  Oh, I think you said it all when you said it was really fun.  I think it’s a gorgeous way of doing music.  When I hear “Something Cool,” that track is the kind of song for me that makes me dream, it really does. Makes me think about certain things.

JM:  Yeah.

Jazz Monthly:  That’s one of my favorite tracks on there.  I love them all, but it’s the kind of record that you can just hit random and let it play, and not just listen to the music but feel it, and feel the emotions of every track, and I didn’t wanna do anything when I finished listening to the record.  I just wanted to take it all in.

JM:  Hmm, well, thank you.

Jazz Monthly:  Yeah, it’s beautiful.  And the record comes out when?

JM:  January 20th.  It’s out in Europe already.  We toured there, actually, last month for it and it was totally cool and really fun, and yeah, the States release is coming up.

Jazz Monthly:  So that’s bumpin’ with the inauguration, man.  What a time.  (Both laugh.)

JM:  I know, I know, I know, I’m just like oh yeah, I’m gonna be getting some awesome media attention that day.  It’s gonna be rad.  (Both laugh.)

Jazz Monthly:  Oh my Gosh, that’s something.  January 20th, what a day.  Well, it’s a day you won’t forget for some time.

JM:  Yeah.

Jazz Monthly:  Have you started incorporating some of these songs in your dates in the States yet or have you done any of these in the States yet?

JM:  Well, the stuff from the first half of the record, definitely, especially because most of it was stuff we were already playing and had developed live for a while before we recorded it.

Jazz Monthly:  Yeah.

JM:  But from the second half, I’ve really only been playing a couple so far and I have to get them ready soon and now I live four hours away from the rest of my band except for my husband, so I don’t know how we’re gonna do that, so I’ll just have to slowly work them in bit by bit.  We’re playing at Feinstein’s at The Regency in The City the first three weeks after the release, so we’re gonna be sort of slowly blending them into the show.

Jazz Monthly:  Oh yeah, and the band, well, they’ll kick with it, that’s for sure.

JM:  So there.  They’re the greatest and the best and put me to shame every day, I mean, the musicianship.

Jazz Monthly:  Talk a little bit about the band.  Just introduce your guys.

JM:  Well, it’s Michael Kanan on piano, Neal Miner on bass, and Rick Montalbano on drums, and it’s guys I’ve been with for a very long time.  My husband and I have been playing together since we met when we were 20 pretty much exclusively.  We’re just a really good match for each other.  He’s one of the rare drummers that actually enjoys accompanying the singer and I learned everything I know about time from him.  He’s got impeccable time.

Jazz Monthly:  Very cool.

JM:  And I’m not—time was always where I struggled a little bit more.  My pitch really was good, my time wasn’t as strong as it could’ve been.  I used to drag a lot.  I still drag sometimes.  But I really learned a lot from him.  And Michael has been in the band for, Gosh, I don’t know, maybe six or seven years, and we played together for years before that, and he and I are just totally like music soul mates.  And Neal is the newest addition to the band.  He’s been with us for about a year and a half and basically when he came into the band, that’s when everything sort of settled in and became like perfect. He was the missing piece of the puzzle. 

Jazz Monthly:  So talk to me about working with Matt Pearson.  What was that like?

JM:  He was cool, man.  I’ve worked with a lot of different producers and it was cool.  I like to really kind of do a lot of it myself if I can, but obviously I was a little bit busy with other things (both laugh) when doing this record, sort of creating and giving birth to a human being.

Jazz Monthly: Yup.

JM:  So Matt really took care of a lot in terms of getting charts ready and getting revisions together and stuff like that, so that was totally cool.

Jazz Monthly:  Yeah, and Joe McEwen?

JM:  Yeah, I’ve only met him a couple times.  He was in the studio a few times and we have yet to sort of like really hang, so I don’t know him very well yet.

Jazz Monthly:  Well, everything came together so cool for this record and I know you’re gonna debut so high on the charts with this one because it’s just—

JM:  It would be nice.  It’s always nice when that happens.

Jazz Monthly:  Yes, well, it’s such a slam dunk.  I can’t find any other words.

JM:  Ah, thank you, and that’s so funny because I’m totally watching basketball right now.

Jazz Monthly:  Are you a basketball fan?

JM:  My husband and I are like huge Celtics fans.

Jazz Monthly:  Oh my goodness.  Well, I’m a Rockets fan, but I just love basketball altogether, but my true love, my number one sport:  baseball.

JM:  Oh, I love baseball too.  I do.

Jazz Monthly:  Because I grew up in St. Louis.

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