The Songbook Sessions (Emerald City Records) is the kind of project thought up to jump start careers, and even though a singer as lovely and talented as Jane Monheit has nothing to prove. Still, in collaboration with producer and trumpeter Nicholas Payton, her voice and range is as lush as a full-bodied cabernet on songs that Ella may have sung, but never like this. Sophisticated and embracing, Monheit shimmies through “All Too Soon,” arranged with a post-modern rhumba beat, a sweet trumpet solo and bling-y electric piano. She dazzles and swings through “Where Or When” and seduces on a brilliant version of “I Got You Under My Skin” that’s as much a feature for Payton as Monheit. Payton says he set out to make the quintessential Jane Monheit record, declaring that standards sung 60 years ago are no longer sexy or as romantic as they were at the time they were written. Doubtless, this is the best Monheit has ever sounded and together they’ve flipped the script to create a new — and sexy — standards album. (12 tracks; 57 minutes)

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