May 14, 2011
Gretchen Parlato: A broken hearted melody
Gretchen Parlato is by all accounts a jazz singer. That genre description is irrelevant; what matters is that she has the smoothest voice, so intimately recorded on her new album, The Lost And Found. Aside from originals, it includes covers of Simply Red's Holding Back the Years - amazing, especially with a glass of wine - and the Lauryn Hill/Mary J. Blige song, All That I Can Say.
I've always been obsessed with the idea that if I had to pick a period of time and a place in which to live - a la Doctor Who - I would choose 1950's Manhattan, when jazz singers like Blossom Dearie and Mel Torme ruled. Without being retro, the mood of Gretchen's songs, like the title track, The Lost And Found, often evokes twilight or perhaps a rainy night walking in the city, arm in arm with a lover. That's where she takes me. Like my affection for Melody Gardot, I most prefer Gretchen at her quietest and most contemplative. Sad songs are my panacea.
Stream Holding Back The Years
Check out Gretchen on NPR, where you can hear her new song Still. Here is her EPK for the new album...
The Lost And Found is on US itunes now. Check in your country too...