Jeremy Monteiro - Sings
Jeremy Monteiro is not a household name in the United States. However, in his native Singapore, Monteiro is known as the “King of Swing,” where he has spent the last 46 years as a pianist, vocalist, bandleader, and recording artist, having previously released 47 recordings. Jeremy Monteiro Sings makes that number 48.
A perusal of Monteiro’s catalog shows him to be thoroughly fearless regarding the material he chooses to interpret. From original compositions to jazz mainstream, to bebop, Monteiro establishes himself as an exceptional pianist and arranger. Better known for his instrumental performances in formats ranging from solo piano to big band, occasionally, Monteiro treats his audience to his singing.
Monteiro reveals a deep love for his material and a joyful abandon in its performance. His voice is sweetly innocent, comparable to John Proulx and Jeff Baker. His voice is undeniably sincere. On Jeremy Monteiro Sings, Monteiro treats listeners to nine standards and one original (his popular “Josefina,” dedicated to his wife). Of note are his treatments of Henry Mancini’s “Moon River,” featuring a harmonica solo by Jens Bruge, who has appeared frequently at Monteiro recording sessions, and Oscar Levant-Edward Heyman’s “Blame It On My Youth.”
Monteiro’s string arrangments are impressive. The strings used on the album derive from a symphonic jazz ensemble Monteiro is forming in Singapore for future projects. The concertmaster is Han Oh. The strings were recorded in Oh’s studio, seven at a time, and then overdubbed to produce a decadently lush sound. Monteiro arranged all the 1st violin parts and lead lines, while Michael Veerapen gave body to the string arrangements. Although Monteiro often conducts big bands as well as jazz and pop orchestras, Han conducted this session while Monteiro focused on his singing and piano playing.
Here this tacit collection of love songs performed as they should be: with sonic precision and an innocent heart.