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Melody Gardot


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Torchy, bluesy jazz/alternative pop

Status:

Most recent release, Currency of Man (2015)

See also:

Melody Gardot's site

Wikipedia's entry on Melody Gardot

Comparisons:

Holly Cole

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

Melody Gardot is the first jazz singer to draw my attention in a long time. She has a clear, evocative voice and a vocal and musical somewhat reminiscent of Holly Cole. Like Holly Cole, she brings jazz stylings into a pop sensibility, making her work cross-over well for those (like me) who are more into pop than jazz. Melody Gardot is also an impressive songwriter—almost every song sounds like a new standard.
     I'm not normally that much of a jazz/torch fan, but Melody Gardot's gorgeous voice and musical backing would melt a heart of stone. I'm proof. She has such a rich voice, and writes songs that sound immediately like classics to me. Much to my surprise, I find her music irresistable. (Neile)

Recommended first album:

Worrisome Heart

Recordings:


Worrisome Heart

Release info:

2006—self-released; 2007—Verve Records—B0010468-02

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for fans of jazz-pop

Group members:

Melody Gardot—guitar, vocals

Guest artists:

Ken Pendergast—bass (1,2, 5, 6, 8, 10)
Charlie Patierno—drums (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10)
Dave Posmontier—piano (1, 6)
Joel Bryant—Hammond B3 (1, 6); Rhodes (2); Wurlitzer (3)
Matt Cappy—trumpet (1, 6, 8)
Ron Kerber—tenor sax (1, 6); clarinet (2)
Jef Lee Johnson—guitar (2, 5, 10)
Diane Monroe—violin (3)
Mike Brenner—lap steel (3, 9)
David Mowry—doboro (4)
Krista Nielsen—cello (5)
Kurt Johnston—dobro (5)
Stan Slotter—trumpet (7)
Barney McKenna—guitar (9)
Paul Klinefelter—bass (9)
Patrick Hughes—trumpet (9)

Produced by:

Glenn Barrett and Melody Gardot

Comments:

What a strong debut! I'm not a big jazz fan and yet Melody Gardot grabbed ears with this one. I can't recall what first drew me to listen to this album because it's my usual area of listening, but wow, I've been listening to it ever since. Melody Gardot has such a capitvating vocal style, this is a haunting, bluesy album. She wrote all the tracks on it, which is only astonishing in how brilliantly composed they are—mature, poised, and just *right* in all the good ways and none of the bad. Fresh without falling in midst of her genre and classic without being clichéd. So impressive, from the title (and first) track on. Irresistable if you like bluesy jazz. "When she sings "love me that is all" you have to pay attention—other singers would make this sound clichéd—Gardot makes it fresh, real, deeply felt. Highly recommended for anyone who likes jazzy torchy songs and lovely, strong vocals. (Neile)

My One and Only Thrill

Release info:

2009—Verve—B0012563-02

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Melody Gardot—vocals, guitar, piano

Guest artists:

Gary Foster—alto saxophone (7)
Bryan Rogers—tenor saxophone (3–8, 11)
Patrick Hughes—trumpet (3–7, 11)
Andy Martin—trombone (6)
Ken Penderast —bass(1, 3 4, 6–8, 11)
Larry Klein—bass (5, 9)
Charlie Patierno—drums (1, 3, 7, 11)
Vinnie Colaiuto—drums (4–6, 9)
Pauinho Da Costa—percussion (2, 3, 11)
Behn Gillece—vibraphone (6, 11)
Larry Godlings—Hammond organ (3, 4)
Darius Campo, Roberto Cani, Joel Drouin, Vivian Kojian, Natalie Legget, Liane Mautner, Robin Olson, Latie Popov, Audrey Solomon—violin (1, 5, 6, 9–11)
Kevin Connolly—violin (1, 5, 9, 10)
Irina Voloshina—violin (6, 11)
Alma Fernandy, Samuel Fornicola, David Walther—viola (1, 5, 6, 9–11)
Roland Kato—viola (1, 5, 9, 10)
Jody Rubin—viola (6, 11)
Larry Corbett, Cecilia Tsan—cello (1, 5, 6, 9–11)
Ira Glansbeck—cello (5, 9, 10)
Christine Soule—cello (1, 6, 11)
Nico Abrondolo, =Drew Dembowski—double bass (1, 5, 6, 9–11)
Marcia Dickstein—harp (5, 9, 10)
Amy Sheldon—haps (1, 6, 11)
Patrick Hughes, Larry Klein, Charlie Patierno, Ken Pendergast, Bryan Rogers—backing vocals (3)

Produced by:

Larry Klein

Comments:

Another strong collection of songs, every bit as strong as Worrisome Heart. Melody Gardot's performances here are gorgeous and heartbreaking, and this shows that her impressive songwriting was more than a one-album achievement. However, no matter how I love someone's singing, I'm just not ready for another cover of "Over The Rainbow." Especially in contrast to Gardot's own heartbreaking compositions, it comes off as Just Too Much. Still, the rest of the album are those powerful compositions and I highly recommend you give them—and that wonderful, evocative voice—a listen. (Neile)

The Absence

Release info:

2012—Decca—B0016816-02

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Melody Gardot—piano, Portuguese guitar, all vocals

Guest artists:

Heitor Pereira—piano, all guitars, percussion, additional vocals
Bill Cantos, Tata Vega, Alfie Silas Durio, Bill Maxwell, Louis B. Price, Ali Witherspoon, Phil Roy—background vocals
Larry Goldings—piano, melodica
John Leftwich—bass
Bruce Dukov (principal), Julie Ann Gigante, Tamara Hatwan, Philip Levy, Serena McKinney, Helen Nightengale, Alyssa Park, Katia Popov, Tereza Stanislav, Lisa Sutton, Sarah Thornblade, Roger Wilkie—violin
Brian Dembrow (principal), Andrew Duckles, Marlow Fisher, Matthew Funes, Keith Greene, Roland Kato, Darrin McCann, David Walther—viola
Steve Erdody (principal), Martin Tillman, Eri Duke-Kirkpatrick, Paula Hochhalter, Dennis Karmazyn, Armen Ksajikian, Andrew T. Shulman, Christina Soule, Cecilia Tsan—cello
Nico Abon-Dolo (principal), Christian Kollgaard, Michael Valerio—bass
Jo Ann Turovsky—harp
Dan Higgins—flute, alto flute, clarinet, bass clarinet
Ron Kerber—clarinet
Jessica Pearlman—oboe
Harry Kim, Ramon Flores—trumpet
Andrew Lippman—trombone
Doug Webb—slide saxophone & tubax
Coco Trivisonno—bandoneon
Paulinho Da Costa, Paco Arroyo, Yolanda Arroyo—percussion
Peter Erskine, Jim Keltner—drums
Nick Glennie Smith—conductor

Produced by:

Heitor Pereira

Comments:

Not an artist I usually listen to, but I'm so glad I gave this a try. It's a really beautiful album. I love the different Latin sounds, the dreamy feel, the way it relaxes me and makes me feel like I'm far away. (How can you listen to "Iemanja" without dancing, preferably barefoot?) But then there's the more intense "Impossible Love" and the sexy "Goodbye" which bring me back and remind me that this isn't just an album that makes me feel good listening to it; it's a really well-made album by very talented artists. (JoAnn.Whetsell)

Still a wonderful voice but musically not my cup of tea. (raschee@gmail.com)


Further info:

Collaborations include:
  • "A Meditation on War and the Fight for Love" with Phil Roy on his album The Great Longing (2007)
  • "If I'm Lucky" with Charlie Haden Quartet West on their album Sophisticated Ladies (2010)
  • "My Sweet Darling" with Seth Gallen on The Best of Lounge Music (2011)
  • "Mon fantôme" with Baptiste Trotignon on his album Song, Song, Song (2012)
  • "Tant Pis" with Jesse Harris on his album Sub Rosa (2012)


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2015-05-30 18:37:46.
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