From the December,2007 issue of "Jazz Life" magazine Japan
Recorded in Sydney, Australia September, 2007
Reviewer: Kaoru Tachibana
"Moon of Manakoora," a unique Jazz vocal CD, which features
refreshingly cool sounds of a ukulele, became a great hit for Janet Seidel in 2005. The latest studio-recorded CD in two and half years turns out to be a tribute to Henry Mancini.
It is impressive that beautiful and sophisticated songs by Mancini, "Loss of Love," "Charade," "The Days of Wine and Roses," and so on, become her own. I believe this is largely because of new warm interpretation this jazz
band makes, which brings a higher level of sophistication to the songs.
Her uniquely, calm, soft and sweet voice is feast to my ears. A highly acclaimed jazz pianist in Australia Joe Chindamo gently plays the piano and shows his presence positively in this album.
Following 16 best selling vocal jazz albums from Janet Seidel, is this luxurious new CD, “CHARADE” – The Henry Mancini Songbook just released in Australia. Each new album by Janet brings a fresh view of her uniquely cool and clear vocal artistry, and on this one the presence of piano master, Joe Chindamo, as featured sideman brings a further world class sophistication to the sound.
Henry Mancini wrote great songs, usually for movies, some very much of an era and others timeless masterpieces. Janet loves to find good songs to challenge her and this theme provided enough choices for two albums, so the list was culled to 14 tracks, ranging from Dreamsville "a love refrain for hipsters" to Two For the Road, Mancini’s favourite of all.
Recorded in just 8 hours at Sydney’s Studio 301 the finished CD consists almost entirely of first takes. Janet and her touring trio had sketched some arrangements of her choice of Mancini originals and Chindamo breezed in from Melbourne with no rehearsal and immediately established an almost telepathic rapport throughout the whole session. The all analogue recording by Richard Lush (one of the original Abbey Road engineers for artists such as the Beatles!) is certainly of audiophile quality, and the natural acoustic ambience is just right for the music.
Aside from Janet Seidel, Joe Chindamo must surely be the only other Australian artist to have reached No. 1 on Japan’s international Jazz Charts, with his popular piano trio CDs.
Chuck Morgan and David Seidel tour and record regularly with Janet providing a deep, relaxed and soulful groove at all times. Morgan’s swinging jazz guitar style and quick ear is a perfect foil for Chindamo’s creative piano work and they do a miraculous job of always enhancing the music, often leaving an enticing spaciousness to frame the vocals. Fabian Hevia has also toured with Janet and his percussion work is a standout, especially the bongos which lend a mysterioso flavour to three of the tracks.
The CD was released first in Japan late in 2007 on the Tokyo based label Fab and has already been described by a Japanese critic as “jazz vocals MASTERPIECE”. Now regarded as one of Japan’s most popular Jazz vocalists, Janet will be touring Japan in May/ June 2008 along with legends Toshiko Akiyoshi – Lew Tabackin and rising US vocal star Roberta Gamberini, for Fujitsu Jazz Elite, one of Japan’s biggest jazz festival / concert tours.