JANET SEIDEL

JANET SEIDEL

Based in Sydney, Australia, Janet and her brother David on double bass have worked consistently in 5 star hotel cocktail lounges since the early 1980s, interspersed with trips to Europe, UK and South East Asia in similar venues.

Sydney, NSW, Australia

Vocalist/Pianist Based in Sydney, Australia, Janet and her brother David on double bass have worked consistently in 5 star hotel cocktail lounges since the early 1980s, interspersed with trips to Europe, UK and South East Asia in similar venues.

Originally from Victor Harbor and Adelaide, South Australia, Janet had moved to Sydney in 1984 as a popular jazz styled vocalist and pianist. A graduate of the University of Adelaide (Elder Conservatorium of Music) she has also worked as a high school music teacher.
 
Since 1992 Janet and David have produced eight successful CDs. Working in various trio, quartet and quintet formats they have performed in jazz festivals all over Australia and overseas. Her double album "The Way You Wear Your Hat" was named vocal album of the year by the Weekend Australian (Australia¹s national newspaper). It was nominated in the finalists for the prestigious ARIA Award in October 1999. Janet was also nominated for a "MO Award" in the jazz vocalist category in 1998.
 
In 2000 her CD "The Art Of Lounge Volume 2" was a finalist in the ARIA Awards Jazz Album Of the Year. Janet tours extensively with her jazz group throughout Australia, covering NSW, Queensland, Tasmania, Melbourne and Perth. She has played virtually all the major Australian Jazz and Arts Festivals and is a regular artist at Japan's Kobe Jazz Street International Festival.
 
While touring Japan and the USA in 2000, Janet performed at Lake Chautauqua Festival in upstate New York with swing players: Harry Allen, Dan Barrett, Keith Ingham, Rebecca Kilgore, Dave McKenna and Michael Moore.
 
In September 2000 she performed at Tokyo's "Body and Soul" jazz club and 'The Tokyo Club". At Kobe Jazz Street she performed with Bill Berry, Mitsuaki Kishi (BMG) and the Swedish Jazz Kings.
One new move in 2000 was Janet's first venture into cabaret with a well received season of her show "Doris and Me". Her tribute to Doris Day's career as a singer had two sold out weeks at the Show Biz Cafe in Australia's capital, Canberra.
 
A new CD with a French theme was released in November 2000 and several tracks have been included on playlists on ABC Radio nationally and some commercial easy listening formats as well. A jazz review by Kevin Jones rated the new CD "Comme Ci Comme Ca" - FIVE STARS - (The Weekend Australian December 2-3 2000).
 
Also just released is "Love Letters", a collaboration with New York harmonica maestro William Galison who will tour in Australia with Janet in February 2001. jazz reviewer Michael Foster wrote: "Seidel's voice and piano playing and Galison¹s harmonicas rate highly among those smooth combinations that seem so natural" (The Canberra Times 11 December 2000).
 
Whether in company with her usual trio or quartet from Australia or as one out with a pickup band, Janet will make a great impression at any music venue or festival suitable for her uniquely personal, classic and sophisticated take on the Great American Songbook.
 
Australian vocalist/pianist Janet Seidel is a true blue Jazz Baby whose recent CD 'The Art of Lounge' may have you think you've set the Way-Back machine for 1953.
 
She's been compared to everyone from Doris Day to Peggy Lee, and it's definitely fair to say that her understanding of the classics is equal to that of those legendary greats.
 
On the 14 tracks of 'Lounge' she swings through romantic ballads that have become so much a part of our musical landscape you might think it would be hard to make them sound fresh, yet that's just what Seidel does. She manages the hat trick of sounding flirtatious, confident and even wryly humorous, lending an extra depth to the songs.
 
Represented on the disc are quintessential jazz/pop songwriters like Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, the Gershwin brothers and Richard Rogers with songs like 'Love for Sale' 'Fools Rush in' and 'I've got a crush on you'. Ably assisting Seidel is a band that understands the need for a light yet sure hand with such familiar material, including pianist Kevin Hunt, bassist David Seidel and saxophonist Paul Williams.
 
The vocals are wisely kept up front in the mix, with the keyboards, percussion, horns and strings carrying the music along like a gentle wave. All in all, whether you listen in your car, home or office, this is a LOUNGE you might want to spend plenty of time in.
Simple messages
by Neville Meyers
Reviewing Janet Seidel & William Galison at Brisbane Jazz Club
Sydney singer Janet Seidel and New York harmonica player William Galison have been delivering a simple message to Queensland jazz audiences: two distinctive voices can ignite and fire each other.
Seidel and Galison have been touring South-East Queensland, performing for the Noosa Jazz Action Society, the Toowoomba Jazz Club and the Brisbane Jazz Club to launch their CD (Love Letters, La Brava Records).
Their tour culminated with their final Queensland performance on Monday night for the Gold Coast Jazz Action Society.
 
The swinging duo had the added advantage of tight and expert backing from Seidel's regular working band (bassist brother David Seidel, guitarist Chuck Morgan and drummer Adam Pache) for Sunday's performance at the Brisbane Jazz Club.
 
Seidel now has eight CDs, several prestigious ARIA endorsements and years of paying her dues behind her. Galison has recording credits with Peggy Lee, Sting, Les Paul and Astrid Gilberto.
 
He also records his own CDs on Verve (including Overjoyed, voted No. 6 in the US contemporary jazz charts), and regularly gigs around New York as a jazz and session player.
 
About her own success, which will soon include a lucrative tour of Japan, and widening exposure to her growing US audiences, Seidel has an easy explanation: "I gave up on Elton John, found the best material I could from the great American songbook, and learned one very important thing - there is still a place in the musical world for a melody singer," she said.
 
"That's where my present and future directions will lie: to sing simply, respect the melody and continue to improve the way I play the chords and harmonies."
 
Always ready to experiment, Seidel was keen to give Galison equal billing on her new CD as well as on-stage.
"I've always sung and played with horn players, yet I discovered that the harmonica touches people in places that other instruments don't," she said. The professionalism of both performers rarely flagged in their three generous sets.
 
Seidel's lyrical understatement consistently shone, beginning with her opening number (a loping, languid, medium-paced And the angels sing). It was also carried through on ballads as well as up-tempo numbers, as she accompanied herself on piano.
 
Galison, alternating with both diatonic and chromatic harmonicas, expertly showcased the instrument's rich timbre behind Seidel on several ballads and delivered on the instrument's lusty capacity to swing (Lucky's wedding and Some blues).
 
They capped their performance to a standing ovation, delivering on their salute to trumpeter Chet Baker (Every time we say goodbye), offering Them there eyes as an encore.
 
USA's: Cadence Magazine review of Art of Lounge#2 said:
'More of the exquisite pop singing of Australia's latter day Doris Day.
Seidel's ravishingly sunlight reading is in the best tradition of Doris Day's warmest and creamiest ballads.'
 
'Love Letters', reviewed by Phillip Sametz' said:
Some quotes: 'The chemistry is palpable with Seidel's melodic performances finding a fine foil in Galison's free wheeling approach...a sheen of quiet sophistication is everywhere apparent'.
 
In the US based internet site 'All About Jazz'
'Art of Lounge #1' and 'Love Letters' were reviewed glowingly by Dave Nathan.
 
Some excerpts:
'Love Letters' With her clear, cool voice, Janet Seidel successfully combines the fluencies of such singers as Chris Connor, Blossom Dearie, Peggy Lee and Doris Day into a style which focuses on delivering the story told by the lyrics rather than making her vocal faculties the message.
 
On the lighter side, Seidel takes on a girlish tone (which she does very well) with another Hoagy Carmichael gem, 'Rockin' Chair.
 
Galison also shows he can sing as he joins Seidel on a tender duet of 'Every Time We Say Goodbye.
Seidel has earned admission into that select cadre of singers who accompany themselves at piano like Sarah Vaughan, Jeri Southern, Shirley Horn and Nina Simone.
Love Letters is another fine production by Janet Seidel with lots of help from her friends and is highly recommended.
 
Art of Lounge #1: Performing since she was 17, Janet Seidel is now one of Australia's more prominent vocalists. There are strings on several tracks, they are offset by musicians steeped in the jazz tradition like Tom Baker on tenor sax. Also having a jazz flavor, 'I've Got Crush on You' is done in a small group setting with Paul Williams providing a mellow background with his clarinet contrasting nicely with Seidel's simple, straightforward rendition of this popular classic.

With a voice that combines the good features of Blossom Dearie with some Peggy Lee and Doris Day stirred in for seasoning, Seidel is at home in a number of styles. She can lull you with a sentimental ballad and then get naively erotic with a blues. She gets together with Col Nolans's Hammond B3 organ for a version of 'Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You' which blends innocence with allurement.

The Latin beat gets a nod with 'Mas Que Nada'. There's a touch of soulful regret on 'Don't Let the Sun Catch you Crying' behind Tom Baker's wailing tenor sax while there's a come hither quality in her interpretation of 'Love for Sale with Baker taking up his cornet.

Seidel takes on a poetic bearing on 'Fools Rush In' which, as much as any track, reveals her ability to convey the essence of the story embedded in the lyrics she sings.

Irrespective of their genre, all the tunes are delivered in a delightful, ear catching, engaging manner. Backed by Australian musicians of the highest caliber, this CD of more than 60 minutes of varied vocalizing is highly recommended.
 
A review in the German Jazz Dimensions(translated by Dieter Vogt)
Janet Seidel - "Love Letters"
When two people get together who musically harmonize wonderfully, with a little luck the result is like this CD. The Australian singer and piano player Janet Seidel and her band together with William Galison created a perfect, smooth masterpiece with Janet Seidel - "Love Letters"
 
The chosen pieces swing, the mouth-organ, which sometimes takes over the melody, produces the wanted 'cuddle-up factor' - the rounded warm voice of Janet Seidel does the rest.
 
'In a sentimental mood' or 'It ain't necessarily so' appear in a new, well balanced light. And she can sing - with calmness and precision, which these days is nearly unheard of.
 
However: whoever doesn't like 'Smooth-Jazz' or music after a hard day's work should stay away from it. But for lovers of passionate music Janet Seidel's latest piece of work is wonderfully suited - nearly disturbing how perfect the whole thing sounds! Hopefully, the passionate Australian singer whose brother plays the bass in her band, finds new fans in Germany.
 
Polish magazine review(translated by Peter Komorowski)
She is the most popular Jazz singer in Australia, I proudly compare her to Diana Krall. Yet she is not an identical copy of the popular American.
 
Janet has made an outstanding contribution to Jazz, and her jazz is a show of her knowledge, versatility, and an unbelievable deep feeling and through this Miss Seidel balances between the estatic Shirly Horn, and vocalists Doris Day and Peggy Lee.
 
Not without significance is her chosen arrangement of her band, (from jazz combo to orchestra) which fully fulfills the combination. (Thank you to Kevin Hunt and Col Nolan who plays the forte piano and hammond organ)
 
Janet has not tried copying famous interpretations of standard jazz.This is proven in her version of 'Love for Sale' in which a slow version of the blues is heard instead of the common quick swing. On her record there are 14 songs which are very pleasent to the ear. As evidenced in her music she can also play Swing.
 
Songwriters Monthly USA said:
"Janet has a drop dead gorgeous voice. Her instinct for phrasing and mastery of subtleties will leave you quivering with delight. Highly recommended". David Schwartz"s Cabaret Hotline review of the Sydney 2000 Cabaret convention said on 11 July 2000: Janet Seidel, performer in some of Sydney's finest hotels sang a beautiful set of songs associated with the career of Doris Day and made this material seem charming and un-hackneyed. Though this was an excerpt from her show "Doris and Me" Ms Seidel managed to convince us that the performance could stand alone."
 

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