Although she had written lyrics to some of her songs before, jazz vocalist Jane Monheit had never recorded a tune she had completely written by herself until last year's "Night Night Stars" on her album "The Heart of the Matter."
"It's not the first time I've written a song, it's just the first time I put one on an album because I finally had one I liked enough to record," she said.
Monheit took a few minutes from her current tour to talk about her career and music. The Grammy Award-winning vocalist will play the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton on Aug. 16.
On being an song interpreter more than a singer/songwriter:
I don't really consider myself songwriter. I'm more of an interpreter. Writing songs is not something I do every day. But I do like to write when the time is right.
On mashing up The Beatles' "Golden Slumbers" and "The Long and Winding Road" on her most recent album:
It was my husband's idea. I've wanted to do "Golden Slumbers" forever. But I knew I couldn't do it by itself. I had the pair it with something. But somewhere along the line, it was Rick's idea to parent with "The Long and Winding Road," which immediately hit me as a brilliant idea. It's great when you put two songs together in a medley and instead of just being what they are, they mean even more when they're together.
On how she chooses songs to sing and record:
It's always sort of on my mind. I'm always on the lookout. And the thing about the Great American Songbook is that most of the songs are ones I've known all my life. But it will become the right moment for one. It will be a song I've known forever and then I will realize that now is the time to do it. They just kind of find me.
On working with renowned producer Gil Goldstein again:
He's a genius. He's Gil Goldstein and everything he does is amazing. That goes without saying. But in addition to that, he's the sweetest, loveliest person imaginable. He's a wonderful energy to have in the studio. I really adore him.
On having her husband, drummer Rick Montalbano in her band:
It totally works. Otherwise we wouldn't do it. (Laughs.) It's really that simple. It just works for us to work together. I think we'd be really unhappy if we couldn't work together. Ultimately it's separate from our marriage. If we weren't a couple, we would still work together.
On advice she'd give her younger self when starting out in the music business:
I think I'd tell myself not to be afraid of the industry bullies. Because I'm not now, but I was then. I guess I would tell myself not to get so upset over being pushed around.