All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Profiles

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...

934

Parallels of Recovery: Melody Gardot Finds Inspiration in the Spirit of New Orleans

Craig M. Cortello By

Sign in to view read count
For both the residents of New Orleans and for Gardot, finding a balance between reflecting on past events and putting those painful memories behind is sometimes difficult. "Because I've written most of these tunes from personal experience, some of them can be quite difficult (to perform live). It takes a lot out of me and it also calls upon a need for me to go back to a place where it was a very real thing that I faced on a daily basis," she said candidly. "In some ways I find it beneficial to look back in order to learn from what we've done, but in other ways continuing to look back is not allowing you to look forward. It's hard for me to constantly go back there."





(Above: Rockwood Music Hall, Photo Credit William Kates)

Gardot considers performing to be a cyclical experience. She drives an equation for her daily routine that will allow her to gear up for the duration of the show. The physical and emotional demands of a live show can be a draining experience, but she finds that her cup is once again filled by the gratitude of her audiences. While Gardot's music certainly stands exquisitely on its own merits, against the backdrop of her journey back from physical devastation it is understandable that the appreciation for her performances is acutely heightened.



She recalled the last of three sold out performances in Montreal where the audience's response was somewhat overwhelming. "We all lined up on the stage to bow, and I had this pain in my heart," Gardot described. "The only thing that I can liken it to is the way you feel on Thanksgiving, when you've eaten so much that you can't move. I had that in my heart from everyone being incredibly generous and so appreciative of what we were doing."



As New Orleanians and as human beings, we all lost something through the Katrina experience and its aftermath—a loved one, a home, a neighbor or a neighborhood, a business, our possessions, an heirloom of sentimental value, our innocence, our faith in our leaders, our serenity, or perhaps a way of life. Yet every day since is a struggle to provide a mental framework for those events that will allow us to make sense of the tragedy. And we must move forward in a way that channels our energies toward a future of renewal and hope, or those sacrifices will have been inconsequential.



Melody Gardot has been changed by the events of the last four years. Her new—found success comes with a greater appreciation through the lens of her recovery. The deliberate pace of her day brought on out of necessity is seen as a blessing compared to the frantic pace of her life before her accident.



With the citizens of New Orleans owing such a debt of gratitude toward the citizens of the world for their assistance, it is comforting to know that participants in our recovery find inspiration in our spirit. In my conversation with Melody Gardot, the reciprocity of our shared appreciation for our parallel recovery experiences was evident throughout.



"I love New Orleans and I hope it is continuing to rebuild and regrow and regenerate with the same spirit that I saw when I was there," she said in closing.



We wish those same sentiments for Ms. Gardot.



Selected Discography



Melody Gardot, Worrisome Heart (Verve, 2008)

Melody Gardot, Some Lessons (Self Produced EP, 2005)

 

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read A Vintage Year For Jessica Felix And The Healdsburg Jazz Festival Profiles
A Vintage Year For Jessica Felix And The Healdsburg Jazz...
by Arthur R George
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Cecil Taylor: 1929-2018 Profiles
Cecil Taylor: 1929-2018
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 7, 2018
Read Boston Celebration: The Legacy of Bob Brookmeyer Profiles
Boston Celebration: The Legacy of Bob Brookmeyer
by Doug Hall
Published: March 13, 2018
Read The Jazz Corner's Lois Masteller Makes It Happen Profiles
The Jazz Corner's Lois Masteller Makes It Happen
by Gloria Krolak
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Savoy Records: From Newark To The World Profiles
Savoy Records: From Newark To The World
by Jordan Levy
Published: February 6, 2018
Read Ranky Tanky: African Rhythms Preserved Profiles
Ranky Tanky: African Rhythms Preserved
by Martin McFie
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "Zara McFarlane: Embodying the Spirit of Jamaica" Profiles Zara McFarlane: Embodying the Spirit of Jamaica
by David Burke
Published: January 13, 2018
Read "BassDrumBone and the New Haven Jazz Renaissance" Profiles BassDrumBone and the New Haven Jazz Renaissance
by Daniel Barbiero
Published: September 4, 2017
Read "Mike Osborne: Force Of Nature - Part 2-2" Profiles Mike Osborne: Force Of Nature - Part 2-2
by Barry Witherden
Published: November 3, 2017
Read "John Abercrombie Remembered" Profiles John Abercrombie Remembered
by Dave Allen
Published: November 4, 2017
Read "Gilly’s Remembered" Profiles Gilly’s Remembered
by Michael J. Williams
Published: November 30, 2017