Jane's willingness to explore a wide dynamic vocal range, unique phrasing and rare ability to interpret a lyric have over the years won her acclaim from audiences and respect from her fellow musicians.
Born in Sydney on March 11 1971, Jane began classical piano studies at six. Her first teacher an extraordinarily encouraging and devoted influence, became the reason for Jane’s continued study to the age of eighteen. Then, for the Higher School Certificate classical piano performance Jane was awarded third in the state. Jane says “My years of classical piano study connected me to a very strong understanding of music. However, it wasn’t until my brother introduced me to the blues that I started trying different things out on the piano. This is essentially what led me to jazz. I had such a strong feeling for it and felt a musical freedom when I started listening to people like Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Nancy Wilson, Betty Carter, Anita O’Day, Shirley Horn, Mark Murphy, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Thelonious Monk and so on. My musical world really started to open up."
So, with a solid musical foundation already behind her, at age 17 Jane got her first gig playing piano and singing two nights a week at an inner city hotel in Sydney. Although she continued to work in the piano/vocal area for a few years, the voice was quickly becoming Jane's instrument of choice. With just a microphone in front of her and a trio behind her, a new found freedom was discovered and Jane formed her first quartet. "When I really started getting in to singing, it was kind of a shedding of confines for me. No piano in front of me, just the audience, a microphone and a way of communicating the music from an entirely personal level. That was exciting."
In 2001 Jane recorded her second CD ‘Better Than Anything’ - a jazz vocal showcase that received regular airplay and put Jane amongst the finest singers in her field. Jane's new recording entitled ‘Beams’ has achieved international as well as local acclaim. ‘In Tune’, UK says Jane’s new album, “… is bound to stay with you for a long time… is as uplifting and mellow as it can get… exceptionally passionate… jumps/scats her vocal in a delectable fashion.”
Don Rader – the ex Woody Herman, Maynard Ferguson and Count Basie US trumpeter, says: “I first heard Jane sing when we were both working with Evan Lohning’s jazz orchestra. I was impressed with her ‘feel’ for the tunes – just as people dug Miles Davis because of the way he interpreted his material and I’m very pleased with the results we achieved on Jane's latest CD.”
****IN TUNE – International.
'Singer’s Singers' – by Dan Singer from New York City:
Listen to any of her entertaining 13-song program and you won’t be disappointed. Her cheery feel-good music making is as uplifting and mellow as it can get. This Sydney Australian stirs me when she sings “Doodlin” (Silver/Hendricks). Her scat crooning is alluring and makes things move along nicely. The oldie “Beautiful Love” (Young/King) is tenderly sung and is bound to stay with you for a long time. She has a knack of getting your juices flowing. And on ballads like these she is like fine wine. When it comes to “Everything I’ve Got Belongs To You” (Rodgers/Hart) Jane lets it all hang out delivering a most appealing sensuous vocal. Fellow jazz singer Mark Murphy wrote some appealing lyrics to arranger Oliver Nelson’s great music called “Stolen Moments” and it’s sung here in an exceptional passionate take. The standard “If You Could See Me Now” (Dameron/Sigman) receives an almost spoken reading. You can certainly tell by her rendering just how innocently susceptible she places herself. There’s an old jazz instrumental by John Carisi called “Israel” with it’s new title “It’s Your Dance” that Ray Passman has put fine prime superior swinging lyrics to. Ms Irving jumps/scats her vocal in a delectable fashion.
JAZZ ACTION SOCIETY OF NEW SOUTH WALES (Australia)
CD Review – Beams, Jane Irving
For those that have not heard Jane Irving, she is the mistress of scat. Cool as a cucumber on Doodlin’ and Beautiful Love. But that’s not all, she has a jazz voice, her sultry rendition of Bye Bye Country Boy is pure pleasure, colours added by Matt McMahon on piano. Chills, that’s what you get when you hear Jane Irving’s version of Stolen Moments. The rhythm section on most of the tracks is Brendan Clarke on bass and James Waples right in the groove on drums. There’s a wonderful contemporary arrangement of Everything I’ve Got Belongs to You, arranged by Michael Bartolomei, whose piano skills are always a pleasure to listen to. Horn master Don Raider features on a couple of tracks, if you want to slip into another world, just listen to him on Lament and Lost in the Stars, yeah baby! Joy Mestroni, Jazz Action Society of NSW. April 2008.
ABC’s Limelight Magazine.
While some singers make claim by including evergreens from the Great American Songbook in their repertoire, Irving is a jazz singer. Her scatting would be among the most sincere recorded in Australia since Kerrie Biddell as it has genuine instrumental purpose. The selections are challenging jazz standards for vocalists including Horace Silver’s ‘Doodlin’ and Oliver Nelson’s ‘Stolen Moments’ but she naturalises them using her warm tone sometimes reminiscent of Michelle Nicolle. Contributions from Matt McMahon’s piano and Ashley Turner’s bass are worthy of note especially Don Rader’s Milesian bittersweet flugelhorn solo on JJ Johnson’s ‘Lament’.