All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

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...


Melody Gardot and New York Pops Open Central Park Summerstage 2010

Ernest Barteldes By

Sign in to view read count
Melody Gardot and the New York Pops
Central Park/Mainstage
Rumsey Playfield
New York, New York
June 1, 2010

For the opening of the 2010 Central Park Summerstage concert series, the New York Pops (which also performed at the 2009 opener) kicked off with versions of Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo a La Turk" and Duke Ellington's "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" before welcoming Melody Gardot, who came on with her four-piece band comprising Charles Staab III (drums), Charnett Moffett (bass), Irwin Hall and Anthony Ware (saxophone, flute and clarinet).

Gardot came on stage by herself, and taking her acoustic guitar she performed a slow, moving tune whose lyrics spoke of holding on to a love affair even though the feeling has gone away. The Pops backed her with a very subtle arrangement that accented critical details without ever overwhelming the singer. Next, her band came on stage gradually as she gravitated to the soft ballad "For The Birds."

Gardot has a sunny 1950s quality to her voice, with a tone that might remind listeners of Doris Day. Her style, however, is intensely personal. Unlike many jazz vocalists, she sings mostly original material—songs that speak of yearning and pain. The tunes have a Brazilian feel to them, almost bordering on bossa nova—or at least bossa as she grasps it while making it her own. That quality was specially evident on the third tune, which had a Latin-esque feel to it.

Possibly understanding that many in the audience were unfamiliar with her work (some in attendance could be heard talking about how they'd never heard of her), Gardot chose a very eclectic program, switching between more contemporary tunes, blues, funk-inflected moments and also ballads—including a French-language song that featured an extended sax solo from Hall.

There were only two standards, which were played towards the end of the concert. Duke Ellington's "Caravan" showcased individual solos from the entire band, and a very personal rendition of "Over The Rainbow" closed the performance with a spine-tingling intro from Moffett.

With her no-nonsense approach, her dexterity on both guitar and piano, her firm vocals and overall charm at Summerstage, Gardot has proven that she is well on her way to being discovered by wider, and larger, audiences both Stateside and abroad. It is just a matter of time.


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read 2018 Hope College Jazz Organ Summit Live Reviews
2018 Hope College Jazz Organ Summit
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Vlatko Stefanovski's performance at the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra's Concert Hall 2018 Live Reviews
Vlatko Stefanovski's performance at the Macedonian...
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Noa Fort at Cornelia Street Café Live Reviews
Noa Fort at Cornelia Street Café
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Cologne Open 2018 Live Reviews
Cologne Open 2018
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Jon Faddis at The Wheel Live Reviews
Jon Faddis at The Wheel
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Dixie Dregs at Lincoln Theatre Live Reviews
Dixie Dregs at Lincoln Theatre
by Eric Thiessen
Published: March 18, 2018
Read "Earl Thomas At Biscuits & Blues" Live Reviews Earl Thomas At Biscuits & Blues
by Walter Atkins
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "12 Points Festival 2017" Live Reviews 12 Points Festival 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: August 6, 2017
Read "James Mahone at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews James Mahone at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: November 26, 2017
Read "Black Flower at Moriska Paviliongen" Live Reviews Black Flower at Moriska Paviliongen
by Patrick Burnette
Published: February 24, 2018