May 22, 2000 12:00 PM

Jane Monheit (N-Coded)

Few musical efforts are more engaging than a pop standard sung by an intelligent singer backed by imaginative instrumentalists. And it’s especially alluring that the 10 such songs (among them “My Foolish Heart” and “Dindi”) on this debut album are performed by someone as young as Long Islander Monheit, 22, who was first runner-up in the 1998 Thelonious Monk Institute Vocal Competition. Monheit—who may remind you of Carly Simon or Rosemary Clooney—is artfully backed by pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Ron Carter, drummer Lewis Nash, sax men Fathead Newman and Hank Crawford and guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli.

Bottom Line: She can fly!

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