My love has come along
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song
As she sang the great standard, Planet adjusted the microphone to capture the exact volume and texture she wanted out of each syllable, each phrase, each note. Sometimes a micro-note.
Suddenly, Planet’s voice soared. Fire, passion, energy, desire, hunger and dynamism ruled. Hair rose on the back of my neck. A rarity.
The moment was a reminder of how good
Flash forward to the lobby after the concert. Janet Planet stands in front of an array of her albums. I ask, “Which one do you want me to write about?” She winces. She rattles off attributes of her individual “babies,” then makes a choice.
It’s her most recent album, recorded in performance. Her description includes the word “revealing.”
What the album reveals is a singer adept at multiple styles in and around the jazz genre. She can stand and deliver – live – in the sophisticated realm of
Title info: “Janet Planet LIVE at the Metropolitan Room NYC,” special guest Gene Bertoncini, 14-16 March, 2013
Personnel: Janet Planet, vocals; Tom Theabo, guitar; Dan Loomis, bass; Ross Pederson, drums; special guest, Gene Bertoncini, guitar.
The album contains more than a few kernels of through about Janet Planet, the singer.
“Happy Talk,” Richard Rodgers
“It Takes a
“A Sleepin’ Bee,” Harold Arlen
“Mad About the Boy,” Noel Coward
“Rhode Island is Famous for You,” Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz
“But Beautiful,” Jimmy Van Heusen
“A Time for Love,” Johnny Mandel
“Diagonal,” Chris Swansen
“Lazy Afternoon,” John Latouche and Jerome Moross
“Calling You,” Bob Telson
“If I Knew the Way,” Chris Swansen
“Mercedes Benz,” Janis Joplin, Michael McClure, Bob Neuwirth
“Oh Danny Boy,” Frederic Weatherly
You don’t need a blow-by-blow on the songs. It’s a worthy album (5 stars out of 5) by a worthy singer. The album captures the essence of live, “truthful” performance. Especially, I like what happens when Planet hears audience requests, with Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz” turning into a kind of spontaneous combustion.
In show business, folks around here tend to be fascinated by distance. The luster is elsewhere. Janet Planet is the elsewhere luster in our backyard.
*-Planet performed Saturday, Dec. 28, at
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