Dubbed Shanghai Jazz Queen, Lee’s concert last week was a huge success.
I SING not because I’m happy. I’m happy because I sing.” These words by Father of American Psychology, William James, have become the mantra that Janet Lee lives by.
After years of performing in music lounges and jazz clubs all over Malaysia, the homegrown entertainer has finally released her debut album titled Restless Heart and conducted her first solo concert of the same name.
Fondly dubbed Shanghai Jazz Queen, Lee chose to open her show with the haunting 1948 Bai Guang classic Deng Zhe Ni Hui Lai (Waiting For Your Return), during the first of her two-day sell-out concert at the DPAC Theatre at Damansara Performing Arts Centre last Thursday.
Then she continued with the breezy Doris Day hit Que Sera Sera before launching into a succession of songs from her album.
The multi-talented stage performer said that she penned the lyrics for five of the ten songs: Into The Sky, Prisoner Of Your Love, Stay There Till, Rider In The Wind, and the title track Restless Heart.
In between songs, she shared snippets of the story of her life and loves. Lee also spoke of the four-year journey to produce her debut album (featuring a mix of original compositions and golden oldies) and the solo concert, where she was accompanied by a nine-piece ensemble led by music director Tay Cher Siang, a friend whom she has been working with for the past seven years.
The sultry songstress may have started the show with her head bowed, her eyes shut, her shoulders hunched, and her arms limp against her scarlet bustier gown. But with each song she sang, the music seemed to feed her fervour. A mid-show costume change saw her re-emerge in a glittery gown, her eyes literally dancing with excitement.
Lee proved her stamina in the one-and-a-half-hour show in which she belted out more than a dozen songs, mostly from Restless Heart. Heeding calls for an encore, she delighted her fans with De Bu Dao Ni Dei Ai Qing (The Love That I Can’t Get) and What Is This Feeling.
Judging by the response from the crowd after the show, it’s clear that Lee is obviously not the only one who is happy that she sings.