Blame it on Diana Krall. Since the sullen siren made it big with bland piano-driven versions of jazz standards, the music industry's been salivating over photogenic fresh young divas with international appeal. Folks are currently spilling tons of ink over Long Island-bred It Girl Jane Monheit, who appears Monday and Tuesday (December 9-10) at Harbourfront's Premiere Dance Theatre, but how does she stack up against her peers? It's hard to keep track of all these babelicious belters without a scorecard, so we've done the legwork for you.
Who : Jane Monheit
The buzz: A finalist at the Thelonious Monk Awards in 1998 at age 20, she's winning raves for her breezy Ella Fitzgerald-style warbling on her In The Sun (N-Coded Music) disc.
Years on the scene: Four
Writes her own stuff? Nope
Role model : Felicity
Pop star counterpart: Mandy Moore
Famous parent(s) she won't talk about? None. Her entire family's musically oriented her mom, grandma and aunt sang professionally, while her brother fancies himself a rock guitar virtuoso.
Gap ad potential? Promising. The sultry siren would look fab in khakis, and for a jazz chick, her aesthetic isn't overly elitist.
Archetypal high school persona: Big-haired, gum-snappin' lead in the school play. Hey, she's an Island girl, after all.
Misguided crossover cover tune : Bread's 70s AM radio staple If
Wears: J. Crew meets JacobWho : Norah Jones
The buzz:Twenty three-year-old pianist/crooner plays traditional and jazz-informed material with collaborators including alt-jazz hipster Charlie Hunter.
Years on the scene: Three
Writes her own stuff? Yep
Role model : Laura Nyro
Pop star counterpart: Jakob Dylan
Famous parent(s) she won't talk about? Calls Ravi Shankar Dad but was raised by her mom in Texas.
Gap ad potential? Medium. Jones's Indian heritage is a definite selling point. Plus, her dusky voice oozes sex. But she may be too cool.
Archetypal high school persona: The wannabe boho art chick who drank black coffee and smoked clove cigarettes.
Misguided crossover cover tune : Roxy Music's More Than This
Wears: Marc Jacobs with a hint of Helmut Lang and some vintage shit.Who : Diana Krall
The buzz:Canuck smoochy standards crooner supreme, with a perma-scowl, blasé delivery and a proclivity for cheesy titles and glamour shots.
Years on the scene: 13
Writes her own stuff? It's what goes on the cover that counts.
Role model : Kenny G
Pop star counterpart: Shania Twain
Famous parent(s) she won't talk about? Nope. Cites her dad's massive record collection as a key inspiration.
Gap ad potential? Excuse me? Ms. Krall's already writhed her way through Nissan commercials. The Gap couldn't afford her now.
Archetypal high school persona: The bitchy, preppy, popular chick who gave blow jobs to the entire football team after the prom.
Misguided crossover cover tune : Er... which one?
Wears: Something trampyWho : Patricia Barber
The buzz:The so-called "Alanis of the avant-jazz" boasts an idiosyncratic, intense cabaret-flavoured delivery, powerful piano chops and cryptically poetic lyrics.
Years on the scene: Almost 14
Writes her own stuff? Better believe it!
Role model : Diana Krall
Pop star counterpart: Tori Amos
Famous parent(s) she won't talk about? Papa Floyd "Shim" Barber tooted the sax with the Glenn Miller Band, and Mom was an amateur blues chanteuse.
Gap ad potential? No freakin' way.
Archetypal high school persona: The weirdo Wiccan chick who wrote suicide poetry and drew anarchy symbols on the back of her notebooks.
Misguided crossover cover tune : Santana's Black Magic Woman
Wears: Anything, as long as it's black