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The art of the ballad seems almost forgotten in today's environment of programmed beats, Auto-Tune and sampled music. But in the hands of three gifted young artiststrumpeter Suresh Singaratnam, singer Gretchen Parlato, and pianist Jamie Reynoldsthe magic of intimate songwriting and beautiful music can still capture the heart as heard in the lovely "That Is You." Its warm ambiance is perfected: first by the trumpet's glowing introduction; then by Parlato's supple and poignant voice, softly pouring out heartfelt lyrics of love, loss, and expectancy; all measured by the piano's gentle accompaniment.
Parlato's always alluring voice is perfectly matched with the tune's empathetic music and lyrics, written by Singaratnam, an emerging leader who released the memorable Lost In New York (Suresong Music, 2010) earlier this year. To be transported from stress and worryif only for a brief momentthis song can surely do the trick. To paraphrase the great Billy Strayhorn, "That Is You" is a lovesome thing.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.