Based in Sydney, Australia, vocalist / pianist Janet Seidel is a seasoned live performer and has 18 CDs to her name. All recorded in Australia, the CDs cover some stylistic ground from easy listening, Lounge, cabaret and Jazz content. Many have been successfully licensed in other territories namely Japan, UK, Taiwan and Singapore to name a few. Janet would say she has been lucky - anyway good critiques have followed, and in the Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD 2006 (UK) she is even described as “Australia’s first lady of jazz singing”.
On the other hand she is revered by cabaret aficionados overseas such as in New York’s Cabaret Hotline: “I had heard so much about this delightful jazz star from Australia, but I was still not prepared for this awesome performance. I have never been so thrilled by a performer since Barb Jungr - this lady is amazing - such pure clean vocals!"
Janet has been performing jazz oriented material and the Great American Songbook in particular since her High School and University days in South Australia in the 1970s. Her brother, David worked as bassist and guitarist with a great variety of local and world renowned artists in his own right before forming Janet's first trio along with Adelaide's legendary drummer Billy Ross in the early 1980s and subsequently they have been fortunate to work with some great Australian jazz musicians. Her first CDs made in the early 1990s feature some potent jazz content from artists such as Tom Baker, Ian Date, Paul Williams, Bob Gebert, Kevin Hunt and Col Nolan and more.
Janet’s likes to perform with a variety of line ups, but more often now she travels with just her trio with excellent guitarist Chuck Morgan and David on double bass. It was with this trio that her first forays into the Cabaret world were launched in 2000 with a kind of personal tribute show and CD “Doris and Me” which has played successfully in many theatres and venues around Australia and the CD was a finalist in the ARIA Awards. Other cabaret shows include Delovely, and this CD features a selection of Cole Porter songs recorded live at Sydney’s Woodfire Cabaret venue.
With 18 CDs to her name she has covered quite some ground stylistically and several were nominated for awards. All have been well reviewed all over the world. Janet’s groups have toured Australia several times and played most important Jazz Festivals around the country. Internationally she has toured to other countries including UK, USA, Europe, the Middle East and many South East Asian countries.
Japan in particular has been a great success in the last few years with 12 CDs released and with Janet invited to do many national tours since 2001, she has been consistently named in the top 10 jazz vocalists in the Jazz Polls. On two occasions since 2006, the Trio toured Japan extensively for Fujitsu Jazz Elite where they shared the bill with jazz diva Helen Merrill and the George Mraz Quartet and again with Toshiko Akiyoshi / Lew Tabackin, Idea of North and Roberta Gamberini. These were prestigious tours and included major concerts in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka plus several jazz club engagements all over Japan.
On CD Moon Of Manakoora, Janet’s soft and sensuous vocals are framed by Chuck Morgan’s superlative work not just on guitar but more on ukulele. British writer Bruce Crowther notes, “his skill is startling”. The CD shot to No. 1 on the jazz vocal charts in Japan for three months in a row late in 2005, whilst back in Australia in the CD was named winner of the Bell Award for Best Jazz Vocal CD of 2006 at the National Jazz Awards in Melbourne.
The latest CD is Far Away Places - Janet Seidel Trio & Friends on Antipodes label through Planet / MGM - October 2013. It is in every way a trio effort, with Janet's ever distinctive vocals the focus and production by David and Chuck. The trio is recorded in minimalist fashion and some Australian jazz greats were called in to add touches of atmosphere, resulting in a quite unusual and distinguished audiophile sound. Following the CD release in Japan, October 2013, the Trio toured for two weeks there and the CD reached No 1 on Amazon jazz vocals chart.
Janet’s other favoured format is doing luxurious concerts with Orchestras, such as the Sydney Symphony, Adelaide Symphony and Canberra Pops Orchestra. In the meantime and in the absence of Orchestral and Big Band possibilities, she enjoys travelling the length and breadth of Australia or around the globe with her trio and some occasional guests when possible.
Much of 2011-2012 was spent living the UK working all over Great Britain and also in Europe, and including sell out shows in venues as well known as Ronnie Scotts. Back in Australia several seasons in Melbourne have ensued at Melborne Recital Centre and Hamer Hall including Blossom Dearie tribute Dear Blossom and her new Johnny Mercer cabaret show That Old Black Magic.
US writer David Nathan made a fitting summary on All About Jazz: “With her intimate style, great feel for the lyrics of songs she sings, Seidel is one of those vocalists who is as much a story teller as she is a singer. The way she goes about handling the music comes off as a fortuitous blend of Blossom Dearie and Doris Day with an occasional nod to Julie London, although she is somewhat jazzier than the latter two. Like Diana Krall, she doubles on piano. Seidel has an exquisite, gentle, and agile voice and honours each tune she sings, irrespective of whether it's a classic standard, pop, or novelty song.”