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...

460

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.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner Live Reviews
Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia 2018 Live Reviews
Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia...
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2018
Read Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood Vampires, Black Asteroids & Paul Lamb Live Reviews
Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood...
by Martin Longley
Published: September 16, 2018
Read Binker & Moses At London's Jazz Cafe Live Reviews
Binker & Moses At London's Jazz Cafe
by Chris May
Published: September 15, 2018
Read 12 Points 2018 Live Reviews
12 Points 2018
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 14, 2018
Read Chicago Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Chicago Jazz Festival 2018
by Patrick Burnette
Published: September 12, 2018
Read "The Chris Robinson Brotherhood at Higher Ground" Live Reviews The Chris Robinson Brotherhood at Higher Ground
by Doug Collette
Published: November 11, 2017
Read "Borneo Jazz Festival 2018" Live Reviews Borneo Jazz Festival 2018
by Wolfgang Konig
Published: May 26, 2018
Read "Gabrielle Stravelli at The 75 Club" Live Reviews Gabrielle Stravelli at The 75 Club
by Tyran Grillo
Published: December 21, 2017
Read "GoGo Penguin at Out To Lunch" Live Reviews GoGo Penguin at Out To Lunch
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 25, 2018
Read "David Byrne at Red Rocks" Live Reviews David Byrne at Red Rocks
by Geoff Anderson
Published: September 8, 2018