Collection includes: Roman Candle (1994); Elliott Smith (1995); Either/Or (1997); XO (1998); Figure 8 (2000); From A Basement On The Hill (2004); New Moon (2007).
At once crisply assertive and lovingly sensual, vocalist Jane Monheit is the jazz equivalent of the young and charming grade school teacher you secretly nurtured a crush on. A sophisticated bombshell of a performer with a voice that is, like her appearance, voluptuous and flawlessly pretty, Monheit has garnered well-earned comparisons to such icons as Ella Fitzgerald and the goddess of vocal pop, Barbra Streisand. In that sense, her sixth studio album, Surrender, is, at first glance, not dissimilar from her past work. Recorded with her working combo including husband and drummer Rick Montalbano, Surrender is a ballads-heavy album that features a mix of jazz standards, reworked pop tunes, and several bossa nova numbers. What is different is the focus and presentation of Monheit. Rather than featuring her here simply as a singer fronting a jazz band, Surrender is a cinematic showcase, a Broadway-sized coming-out party that finds Monheit's voice framed against sweeping orchestration and glossy, Technicolor arrangements. This is Monheit the vocal diva, the superstar.
From a novel by author Elizabeth Taylor comes the inspiration for Angel, the second English-language film by French director Francois Ozon. In many ways a throwback to the grand romances of Hollywood's Golden Age, Angel also features a wider range of sensibilities that would seem to attract attention from modern arthouse crowds. The story follows the life of young author Angel Deverell, whose force of will leads the audience on a journey from the imaginative aspirations of her youth all the way through her eventual death. A fierce personality for Angel and the story's willingness to toss in a tart now and then provide the film with spicy interest. Angel marks the fifth collaboration (since 2003) between Ozon and young French composer Philippe Rombi, who has shown the talent and promise of an international career that is yet unrealized. Without a doubt, Angel is the biggest spectacle to come out of Rombi's career as of yet, contributing to a belief that he very well could be an extension of (or replacement for) the late master of French romanticism, Georges Delerue. In many ways, Angel will be an absolute delight for fans of Delerue, mostly due to Rombi's unashamed, lyrical devotion to his three themes for the film.