Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

2

Gretchen Parlato: Live in NYC

Dr. Judith Schlesinger By

Sign in to view read count
In the ever-growing crowd of jazz vocalists, Gretchen Parlato increasingly stands out for her unique sound and musicality. She has been criticized by those who think she should sing "bigger," move around more, and open her eyes when she performs. But she has held to her own meditative style, which includes encouraging her bands to have spontaneous, passionate, and personally-expressive conversations, rather than being obedient supporters that she unilaterally "leads." This is all very evident on Live in NYC, which offers both audio and video testimony to Parlato's singular talents.

These include her soft, dreamy tone, blessedly accurate pitch, and the phrasing of lines that consistently swing, whatever the tempo. Parlato's organic sense of time also shows in her breathing, particularly on faster tunes like "Butterfly" and "Alo Alo," where her short, sharp intakes create a percussive effect all their own. This underscores the fact that, beyond being a remarkable vocalist, she is a fine instrumentalist as well.

Parlato's choice of bandmates adds to the many pleasures here. Pianist and keyboardist Taylor Eigsti, a Grammy-nominated leader and composer in his own right, provides blazing and sensitive solos throughout; his flawless runs and melodic creativity are distinctive, and far more than displayed by most vocal accompanists. There's also a consistently rich, mutual interplay among Parlato, Eigsti, and each of the superb bassists and drummers—Alan Hampton and Burniss Earl Travis ii, and Mark Guiliana and Kendrick Scott, respectively. It's all part of Parlato's vision, where players are prized for their artful ability to re-invent the music, remaining true to its basic form while keeping it always fresh and alive.

Standout tracks include her own powerful "Better Than," the delightful "Alo Alo," where the DVD reveals her percussionist skill (and the source of all that intriguing clacking), and Herbie Hancock's "Butterfly," where the opening riff is catchy enough to linger in mind the rest of the day. Parlato continues to transform a wide range of material, including the American Songbook and pop tunes like Simply Red's "Holding Back the Years"; she seems to select whatever music and story speak to her personally, regardless of genre. The result is a style that's not only delightful to hear, but suggests an active, thoughtful, and original musical intelligence behind it. Given her restless and exploratory spirit, it will be fascinating to see where Parlato goes next.


Track Listing: Butterfly; All That I Can Say; Alo Alo; Within Me; Holding Back The Years; JuJu; Weak; On The Other Side; Better Than.

Personnel: Gretchen Parlato: vocals; Taylor Eigsti: piano and keyboards; Alan Hampton: bass and vocals (1, 3, 4, 5, 6); Burniss Earl Travis II: bass and vocals (2, 7, 8, 9); Mark Guiliana: drums (1, 3, 4, 5, 6); Kendrick Scott: drums (2, 7, 8, 9).

Title: Live In NYC | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: ObliqSound

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

New York Beat
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Interviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Read more articles
Live in NYC

Live in NYC

ObliqSound
2014

buy
Live In NYC

Live In NYC

ObliqSound
2013

buy
The Lost And Found

The Lost And Found

ObliqSound
2011

buy
In a Dream

In a Dream

ObliqSound
2010

buy
 

In A Dream

ObliqSound
2009

buy
 

Gretchen Parlato

Point of Departure, WMPG-FM
2007

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Runner in the Rain Album Reviews
Runner in the Rain
By Jack Bowers
January 22, 2019
Read Driftglass Album Reviews
Driftglass
By Chris May
January 22, 2019
Read Pure Magic Album Reviews
Pure Magic
By Mark Sullivan
January 22, 2019
Read Vera Album Reviews
Vera
By Jerome Wilson
January 22, 2019
Read Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz Album Reviews
Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz
By Dan McClenaghan
January 21, 2019
Read The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two Album Reviews
The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two
By Victor L. Schermer
January 21, 2019
Read Mesophase Album Reviews
Mesophase
By Glenn Astarita
January 21, 2019