On his 35th album as a leader, pianist and composer David Benoit changed up his game. Remarkably, 2 in Love is the very first time in his long career that he's worked with a vocalist on an entire album. His chosen collaborator is Jane Monheit, one of the most celebrated mainstream jazz singers. All but one of these ten songs are originals co-written with three different lyricists: Lorraine Feather, Mark Winkler, and Spencer Day. Produced by the pianist, 2 in Love was cut live in the studio – a daunting prospect for most contemporary vocalists. But Monheit is no ordinary singer. Check her delivery on the knotty, Latin-tinged opener "Barcelona Nights." She glides through the changes and imbues her canny phrasing with just a hint of samba, with each articulated syllable entrenched in the song's groove. The sultry passion in her utterance is complemented beautifully by Pat Kelly's nylon-string guitar in the bridge. The title track is a swinging bossa with charging piano and hand percussion. Monheit has demonstrated throughout her career that her grasp on the form is both expert and soulful.
Once of the most refreshing and distinctive voices in modern jazz, Jane Monheit's remarkable vocal abilities have helped breathe new life into the popular and enduring musical style. Whether you're a longtime fan of Monheit's or a relative newcomer to her sultry vocal style, this performance recorded live at the 2004 Brecon International Jazz Festival in Breçon, Whales, offers the next best thing to being there bringing the magic of her live performance into the comfort of your living room.