Concert Review: Janet Klein and her Parlor Boys

Hard Times Yield Good Songs Janet Klein lives the 1910s female vocalist dream—to sing the popular songs of the Ragtime Era on a public stage (as Janet does about 100 years later) and receive acceptance and respect for her art. Before 1920, there were those of the opinion that “nice girls” would not step upon a stage to sing, especially songs of romance—or even worse, “naughty” songs. As Klein presented those songs at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena, California, they are a breath of fresh air. Re-created with the authenticity and character of the time—without the criticisms of old. She guided the audience on a delightful time-travel visit to the era with her unique, enchanting, and bubbly style. Klein stayed true to and respectful of the character of the songs and mode of those times. She even responded to audience applause with a “modest” side-bow, as a front-bow could be considered “unladylike” and possibly “revealing,” in the parlance of the early 1900s. An extensive front-page feature article in the June 2016 issue of The Syncopated Times, “Janet Klein: The Past, Perfect,” by editor Andy Senior, delved into her motivation and the “window into the past” she had through older relatives. Especially important were her grandfather, Marty Klein, a stage and vaudeville magician, and her resources at UCLA while a student. She dis
You've read three articles this month! That makes you one of a rare breed, the true jazz fan!

The Syncopated Times is a monthly publication covering traditional jazz, ragtime and swing. Our writers are paid to bring you the best coverage of the scene possible. Advertising will never be enough to keep these stories coming, we need your SUBSCRIPTION. Get unlimited access for as little as $3 a month or $30 a year.

Not ready yet? Register a Free Account to view five articles a month without nags or pop ups.

Already Registered? Log In

If you shouldn't be seeing this because you already logged in try refreshing the page.

Harvey Barkan has reviewed live jazz events for several decades. His work has been published in the LA Jazz Scene, The American Rag, and many other publications.

Or look at our Subscription Options.