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Jazz’s need to create on the spot never really goes away—testing moves in front of an audience is always a consideration for performers who truly want to know how an arrangement or an approach will play to a crowd. Jane Monheit is an intrepid soul; starting tonight she’ll green-light this notion for the next three months, hosting a Sunday-evening “Jazz Party,” which affords audiences a chance to peek behind the curtain and enjoy the looseness of a jam session while basking in the talents of a very tight band. The singer and her trio, including pianist Michael Kanan, bassist Neal Miner, and drummer Rick Montalbano, will be opening the doors to guest instrumentalists and giving new ideas plenty of elbow room—a spotlight on spontaneity. The boss lady and her seductive coo ain’t shy—Monheit is a natural charmer. Whether she’s tweaking her take on “Zing Went the Strings of My Heart” (there’s a Judy Garland tribute in her future) or embedding herself in a boo-hoo opus such as “Two Lonely People,” prepare for charisma around every turn.
Sundays, 6 p.m. Starts: July 6. Continues through Aug. 10, 2014