Jazz vocalist Jane Monheit of Long Island and Los Angeles rode a musical magic carpet, piloting 75 of her intimates, on a tour of the American and New World songbook, Friday at the Mitchell Park Center El Palo Alto room.
Her co-pilot Andy Langham gave the Chinese-made Baldwin a no-tariff workout while the audience alternately danced in their seats and held on for dear life, like at the Coney Island Big Dipper.
Monheit, who triumphed at the 1998 Thelonious Monk vocal contest and released sessions on Concord and Sony, leaned in towards the audience to provide context to her repertoire choices, a virtual but real biographical map of her journey and origins.
“This is a cultural highlight in the last 60 years of Palo Alto” said a guest who identifed himself as “Gulliver” and said he was a contemporary of the Grateful Dead (who had origins here).
“Jane Monheit out of this world” wrote a former mayor of Palo Alto. “I will start practicing the lullaby about Dreamland — I found the YouTube and lyrics for my granddaughter”.
Presenter Earthwise of Palo Alto (Note: also the writer and publisher of this post and 2,100 similar rants and raves here in Plastic Alto) said in a brief introduction that Jane’s appearance was part of a timeline that included Thelonious Monk’s concert at Paly High in 1968 and his series of 150 concerts in Palo Alto at the Cub in the 1990s.
After the show, Weiss told me that he has three other onsales now via EventBrite: Bob Margolin/Jimmy Vivino/Mitch Woods, July 6; Scott Amendola/Trevor Dunn/Philip Greenlief, October 11 — both at Mitchell Park; a Tom Harrell Quartet Thursday October 24 at location TBA; and a special Sunday August 18, 2 p.m. matinee concert with a Special Appearance Quartet at Mitchell Park (the day of the Rolling Stones concert in Santa Clara, but not Tim Ries or Marty Ehrlich).
At Friday’s show, a local family band named Camacu wowed the crowd with songs in Hawaiian, Spanish and English, on guitar, bass and “ook”.
Edit to add:
Jane’s set list:
Hit the Road to Dreamland
My Foolish Heart
So Many Stars
Look Around (Sergio Mendes)