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Gretchen Parlato: In a Dream (2009)

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Gretchen Parlato: In a Dream How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Gretchen Parlato grew up in a musical household, the daughter of bassist/guitarist Dave Parlato (who worked with Don Ellis
Don Ellis
Don Ellis
1934 - 1978
trumpet
, Warne Marsh
Warne Marsh
Warne Marsh
1927 - 1987
sax, tenor
, Gil Melle
Gil Melle
1931 - 2004
saxophone
and Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa
1940 - 1993
guitar, electric
, among others). She won the 2004 Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocal Competition and released her debut CD on her own label the following year; In a Dream is her long awaited follow-up and it does not disappoint. Like many jazz musicians of her generation, Parlato casts a wide net in choosing her repertoire, drawing from pop, jazz standards and her own originals, with a sympathetic band including African guitarist/singer Lionel Loueke
Lionel Loueke
Lionel Loueke
b.1973
guitar
, pianist Aaron Parks
Aaron Parks
Aaron Parks
b.1983
piano
, bassist Derrick Hodge
Derrick Hodge
Derrick Hodge
b.1979
bass
and drummer Kendrick Scott
Kendrick Scott
Kendrick Scott
b.1980
drums
, all of whom have recorded as leaders.

Parlato kicks off by engaging in a playful Latin setting of Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder
b.1950
keyboard
's "I Can't Help It," with Loueke as her sole partner. Her first original, the album's title track, is set to a tune by pianist Robert Glasper
Robert Glasper
Robert Glasper
b.1978
piano
, a breathy ballad that shimmers like sunlight on the water. "Turning Into Blue," with music by Alan Hampton, is a breezy affair that successfully blends elements of jazz and pop.

Parlato's magical rendition of Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
1899 - 1974
piano
's infrequently performed "Azure" finds her musicians very reserved yet taking the music down a different path, while the singer overdubs extra lines at times. She bubbles with energy in the electric setting of Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
b.1933
saxophone
's "E.S.P.," scatting a solo with occasional overdubbed excerpts of her singing at the age of two. A vintage home recording is also added to her interpretation of Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
b.1940
piano
's "Butterfly," with her sweet voice complemented by Loueke's inventive acoustic guitar and offbeat mouth clicking. Parlato resists preset boundaries and follows her own muse, rewarding listeners with her spirit of adventure.


Track Listing: I Can't Help It; Within; Butterfly; In A Dream; Doralice; Turning Into Blue; E.S.P.; Azure; On The Other Side; Weak.

Personnel: Gretchen Parlato: voice, percussion; Lionel Loueke: acoustic guitar, voice; Aaron Parks: piano, Fender Rhodes, synthesizer, glockenspiel; Derrick Hodge: acoustic bass, electric bass; Kendrick Scott: drums.

Record Label: ObliqSound

Style: Vocal


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