Amandah's first CD (don't miss her other recordings also available at CDBaby.com) Enjoy those sound clips!
The Scanner Newspaper
June 17, 1998
FIVE STARS (out of five)
By Dick Bogle
Portland's jazz scene is very fortunate to be blessed with the presence of vocalist Amandah Jantzen.
She is master of convincing the audience she is living each song as she sings it. She is a natural with an easy approach to her songs.
Her treatment of the title tune "Some Other Time" is exhibit A. Jantzen's respect for her lyrics is evident on each cut.
She takes on Burton Lane & Alan Jay Lerner's "Too Late Now" in a relaxed, unhurried manner with an occasional breathy word or phrase. Jantzen realizes breathiness is like a spice to be used only sparingly and thus exquisitely adds just a dash now and then.
Her treatment of Buddy Johnson's "Since I Fell For You" speaks eloquently to her abilities. She is perfectly at ease with that vintage blues ballad first recorded by Buddy's sister Ella.
It proves Jantzen has no reason for reticence in singing soul ballads. Her wide range allows its subtle use, therefore making each track vital and fresh.
Of course, it Jantzen had lesser musicians, her efforts would be diminished. Fortunately, she chose well.
Pianist Chris Sigerson is a brilliant accompanist, as are guitarist Ron Thompson and tenorist Al Wold. Bassist Ken Lister, who duets with Jantzen on the opening of "The Song Is You," drummer Craig Scott, and trumpeter Derry Byrne all make outstanding contributions.
The only question is: How long will we be able to keep her in Portland? She appears every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at the Lloyd Center Doubletree Inn.
Jazzscene "Oregon's Jazz Magazine"
August, 1998 issue
FOUR STARS (out of five)
By George Fendel
There's a lot to like about this initial recording by Portland singer-pianist Amandah Jantzen. A quick look at her choice of tunes suggests this is a very hip lady. Consider such rare gems as Beautiful Love, Too Late Now, I Ain't Got Nothin' But The Blues and the tender title tune, Some Other Time. One also has to admire her resistance to the decorative, look-what-I- -can-do excess of many singers. Catch her at the Lloyd Center Doubletree Inn Thursdays through Saturdays. And be sure to pick up a copy of her impressive "first time out" CD.
Jazz Now Magazine
December, 1998 / January, 1999 issue
New Sounds Review
By Al Merritt
Amandah Jantzen, vocals; Chris Sigerson, piano; Ken Lister, bass; Craig Scott, drums; Al Wold, tenor saxophone; Ron Thompson, guitar; Derry Byrne, trumpet.
Amandah Jantzen's smoky voice is surrounded by a varying combination of suitably hip musicians in this selection of old, friendly songs. The rhythm section is upfront on the opening track, "Beautiful Love," with drummer Craig Scott getting a slice of the action. The remaining tracks include tasty readings by pianist Chris Sigerson, guitarist Ron Thompson, and the standout styling of tenorist Al Wold, who deserves to have his own opportunity in the star slot. Amandah is most effective when singing in the low-key, laid-back style as with the title song, "Some Other Time." An album deserving of your attention.
LA Jazz Scene Magazine
February, 1999 issue
By Bob Agnew
Les Girls...Three singers who are making an impression with their CD's:
...Then westward to Portland, Oregon and Amandah Jantzen whose very fetching CD, "Some Other Time" (Starfire Music), is an excellent effort by this songstress who is in full control of her voice and knows how to express a lyric. Recorded in Vancouver Canada with a sextet, Jantzen does 10 tracks of standards, displaying an expertise that should vault her into fame. From upbeat songs such as "Beautiful Love" and "Mean To Me," to her contralto hushed-tone interpretations of "Too Late Now" and "Sophisticated Lady," her CD is a musical treat.
LA Jazz Scene Magazine
Review By Scott Yanow
Some Other Time
(Starfire Music) Although there is a shortage of talented male jazz vocalists around these days, there are a countless number of excellent female jazz singers. Amandah Jantzen is based in the Pacific Northwest. She has a warm voice, swings at every tempo and, although she does not improvise that much, her phrasing is spontaneous and appealing.
None of the musicians on Some Other Time (recorded in Vancouver, British Columbia) are well known but are all excellent: tenor-saxophonist Al Wold, trumpeter Derry Byrne, guitarist Ron Thompson, pianist Charles Sigerson, bassist Ken Lister and drummer Craig Scott. The repertoire consists of ten vintage songs, all familiar tunes but given renditions that are lively and joyful. Attention was paid to varying tempos and moods so the program is quite enjoyable from start to finish. Among the tunes that benefit form Amandah Jantzen's voice are "Beautiful Love," "Whisper Not," "Mean To Me," a soulful "Since I Feel For You" and "I Ain't Got Nothin' But The Blues."
Some Other Time is an easily enjoyable set...
Jazz and popular music are overloaded with "overnight successes" who gain a great deal of attention when they burst upon the scene, only to slip away into obscurity within a short time. Amandah Jantzen is the complete opposite. Throughout her career she has gradually earned a strong reputation while mastering her craft. She is a singer who, once experienced, one never forgets.
Amandah has the rare ability to uplift standards and make vintage songs sound fresh, new and topical. Her warm voice and swinging style, combined with a large repertoire, result in consistently memorable performances. She is never shy to embrace melodies and lyrics from the Great American Songbook, bringing out the hidden beauty in both, but her renditions are never predictable. She is a jazz singer yet is also quite accessible to a wide audience.
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Amandah was drawn to music from an early age. Although she occasionally performed at jam sessions and in piano bars, she primarily worked outside of music until 1986. By then, having discovered in turn Al Jarreau, Linda Ronstadt's Nelson Riddle recordings, Nancy Wilson and Sarah Vaughan, Amandah knew that she simply had to sing jazz. She relocated to Portland, Oregon five years later and became active locally, performing in jazz clubs and at concerts. She was particularly inspired by bassist Leroy Vinnegar and guitarist Charlie Byrd, developing into the warm and highly expressive singer that she is today. Byrd convinced Amandah that she should accompany herself on piano, a move which has added to the appeal and musicality of her performances.
Amandah Jantzen's singing is well showcased on her three recordings, Some Other Time, Devil May Care and My Secret Love. She is also featured on a third of the songs on the Ellen Vanderslice compilation, Once in A Blue Moon, and half of the tunes on The Standard Vanderslice. Her newest CD, Northern Star/The Singapore Sessions was released in mid-2007. Because of the quality of these recordings and the popularity of her live engagements, I have picked Amandah as one of the top 500 jazz singers of all time and have included her in my book, The Jazz Singers, published by Backbeat Books in October, 2008.
In addition to working in Portland (including long-term bookings at both the Doubletree and Heathman Hotels), Amandah has performed at extended engagements in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, at the Salishan Golf Resort on the Oregon Coast, at the Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and at the historic Ankeny's Restaurant on the top floor of the Ridpath Hotel in Spokane, Washington. She has also been featured at the Du Maurier Jazz Festival in Vancouver, British Columbia, in Florida with tenor-saxophonist Turk Mauro and multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan, at Bally’s Casino in Las Vegas, and has opened concerts for both Mc Coy Tyner and Charlie Byrd. She has been building a growing following in Key West, Florida as well over the past few years.
Internationally, she’s worked two engagements in Singapore, with multiple extensions that kept her busy for 15 months, culminating in the recording of her most recent (Northern Star) CD. Continuing her tour of Asia, she then performed extended bookings in Seoul, South Korea; Bali, Indonesia; New Delhi, India; Shanghai, China; Bangkok, Thailand; and most recently, Hanoi, Vietnam. Additionally, in early 2008, she was featured in the Emirates Air Jazz Vocal Concert Series at Nardis Jazz Club in Istanbul, Turkey.
In early 2006 she placed second in the 5th Annual Jazz Connect International Vocal Competition. She has also developed a steady base of “House Concert” appearances in the US as well as working several jazz venues inbetween her long term bookings in Asia.
An enthusiastic and charismatic performer who is also subtle, Amandah Jantzen is a constant joy, both musically and personally. She is on her way to becoming a major name in the overlapping worlds of jazz, cabaret and classic American pop music.
Biography by: Scott Yanow, Los Angeles, CA