Gretchen Parlato: In a Dream (2009)
Parlato kicks off by engaging in a playful Latin setting of Stevie Wonder'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, 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'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'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'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