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606 and Jazz re:freshed: in latest govt funding list

Jazz-encompassing businesses and organisations detailed in the latest overall list of culture secretary Oliver Dowden's to be offered government grants and loans to help culture and heritage reopen include: Abram Wilson Foundation for Creative …

Published: 2 Apr 2021. Updated: 20 days.

Jazz-encompassing businesses and organisations detailed in the latest overall list of culture secretary Oliver Dowden's to be offered government grants and loans to help culture and heritage reopen include:

Abram Wilson Foundation for Creative Arts £41,734

Birmingham International Jazz Festival £25,033

Columbo Jazz Limited t/a Jazz Café £125,000

Inner City Music Ltd, Manchester £154,393

Jazz re:freshed £41,842

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Kansas Smitty's £50,002

Lateralize Ltd £40,000

Marsden Jazz Festival £49,251

Matt and Phreds, Manchester £62,500

National Youth Jazz Orchestra £148,889

New Vortex Jazz Club £71,750

Peggy's Skylight, Nottingham £89,611

Pink Lane Jazz Coop Ltd, Newcastle upon Tyne £25,000

Serious Events Limited £369,691

Servant Jazz Quarters £26,250

The 606 Club LLP Music £308,528

Tomorrow's Warriors Ltd £97,500

Link to press release

Vortex, top. Kansas Smitty's, above

Tags: News

Jane Monheit, Come What May ****

It is obvious that this is the real McCoy in terms of classic jazz vocals. A record like this comes along once in a blue moon. You realise that pretty much anywhere you look. Take 'When a Woman Loves a Man,' the Gordon Jenkins/Johnny Mercer/Bernie …

Published: 1 Apr 2021. Updated: 21 days.

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It is obvious that this is the real McCoy in terms of classic jazz vocals. A record like this comes along once in a blue moon. You realise that pretty much anywhere you look. Take 'When a Woman Loves a Man,' the Gordon Jenkins/Johnny Mercer/Bernie Hanighen song. Agile piano accompaniment by Michael Kanan ups the ante and throughout the album keeps on rising his level of commitment and offering his study of touch behind Jane Monheit. As previously noted it is more than two decades since the singer debuted when she quickly became one of the greatest classic jazz voices on the scene. Monheit hasn't, however, released a record in quite a while.

The treatment of the Frank Loesser song 'I Believe in You' is so joyous. Rick Montalbano, Monheit's husband, on drums reminds me of Matt Skelton a bit so if you know Skelton's style you'll quickly know what I mean. Monheit has a really airy way with her that sounds totally on top of everything as if she does not even have to think about the words because there is other work to do going deeper in terms of all the little extra ingredients, usually to do with timing, that a great singer has to attend to. Her scatting is also world class. For lyrics go to the witty 'Let's Take a Walk Around the Block' the Harold Arlen/Ira Gershwin/E. Y. Harburg song. Monheit swings the hell of the thing.

But what about her take on Billy Strayhorn's classic 'Lush Life'? Well that probably makes the whole album. Kanan is so subtle. Monheit sings Ah yes I was wrong and again making the song tingle and work in a distinctive way to open wide a new window. There is such a crispness to her delivery and understanding. There are a lot of familiar standards on the album. That may put off some who may well ask, so what? But Monheit can make them seem brand new and does. On the Irving Berlin classic 'Let's Face the Music and Dance' she injects an impossible-to-predict direction to the trajectory of the song. Her scat again is superb and Kevin Winard's percussion touch makes it a treat. Well sequenced that track leads naturally into Jobim's 'Samba Do Avião' that is the slinkiest thing on the record by a long way although the string arrangement isn't so much to my taste.

Kanan opens 'The Nearness of You' beautifully and later the strings pile in, Monheit sings the song in a much straighter, sweet voiced manner and is the closest she comes to being pure show singer on the album. A lovely treatment, the string arrangement works a lot better behind her on this.

'On the Sunny Side of the Street' the Jimmy McHugh/Dorothy Fields song is nicely led off by double bassist David Roaire. But what about 'The Man That Got Away' the Arlen/Gershwin classic? Well that's the second big highlight of this very fine album. I'll be astonished if there's a more accomplished classic jazz vocals album released this spring. 'My Funny Valentine' is the ultimate topping on the cake, Monheit airy and icy entering a whole other world. SG. On Club 44 Records