Blessed with “a voice of phenomenal beauty” (Stephen Holden, New York Times), Jane
Monheit has had plenty of milestone moments in establishing herself as one of today’s best
and most important vocalist-musicians.
With her new album, The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald—the first to be released on her
own Emerald City Records—the Long Island native has surprised even herself with her
artistic leap. Jane had thought about recording an Ella tribute for a long time. Fitzgerald’s
beloved songbook albums held “Biblical” importance for her when she was growing up and
have never lost their hold on her.
On this new offering, Monheit pays joyous tribute to Ella while sharing a definitive portrait
of herself, guided by her producer, arranger, and trumpet great, Nicholas Payton. Once she
decided to make the dream project a reality, she had no trouble choosing titles. She jotted
down a list of 25 titles “almost immediately.” She and Payton each narrowed the choices to a
dozen and settled on the final list together.
“We met in the middle in a lot of ways,” Monheit says. “It all came down to trust. I had no
idea what to expect from Nicholas because we had never worked together, but it was evident
from the start that he is a sensitive soul and his knowledge and understanding of history was
beyond compare. I felt an instant trust in him I had never felt before with any other