Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1083

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Feature

Melody Gardot: Unchained Melody

Melody Gardot @bluesandsoul.com
Melody Gardot @bluesandsoul.com Melody Gardot @bluesandsoul.com Melody Gardot @bluesandsoul.com Melody Gardot @bluesandsoul.com Melody Gardot @bluesandsoul.com Melody Gardot @bluesandsoul.com Melody Gardot @bluesandsoul.com Melody Gardot @bluesandsoul.com Melody Gardot @bluesandsoul.com

Not so long ago, a male jazz artist rose to the forefront of his genre after his distinctive vocal was discovered and given a chance to ripen. He was like a breath of fresh air, in a genre which can be a closed shop at times, some would say, even stuffy. But jazz is supposed to be about being cool and free, itâs about being alive and being able to express yourselfâ¦this artist had all those attributes and more, picking up plaudits by the bucket load as he stayed true to his roots and the genre he represented. I myself gave him my first ever 6 out of 5 review! lol. Impossible, but he was that good, better than any 5 out of 5 I had given previously. When I showed him he laughed, thanked me and then gave one of the most gracious interviews I think I have ever conducted. His name⦠Gregory Porter.

Now these kind of artists donât come around too often, that I know. But now a few years later I get a chance to rave about another jazz artist who is also uniquely talented, with a different set of skills to bring to the table. So ladies and gentlemen, itâs my pleasure to now shout from the highest high about a performer who I can only foresee as being destined for big thingsâ¦the difference is, sheâs not a newbee and Iâm not claiming to have discovered her - even though I have been raving about her from day one! There have been 3 quality albums releases to date. But she hasnât risen to uber cool dizzy heights /superstar status. Not yet anyway! But in my opinion, it can only be a matter of time. Her name is⦠Melody Gardot.

I recently caught-up with this 30 year old, Grammy nominated, Philadelphia born, jazz starlet on a whirlwind visit to London - in fact, the Soho hotel to be exact. Where her new album âCurrency Of Manâ was topic of conversationâ¦though her fourth album, I would say is easily on a par with her previous plaudit drawing releases. Talking of those efforts, Gardot was quick to let me know how casually her 2008 debut âWorrisome Heartâ came about. âIn the beginning I didnât know what I was doingâ¦I had no idea. I played a little bit of music for myself, by myself in a room and maybe did a handful of little concerts.â She continues. âI met some wonderful people, who introduced me to some other musiciansâ¦I then made a little record called âWorrisome Heart.â It was a very interesting record because it was just, simple. It was (recorded) in a little farmhouse in the winter and we just recorded when we could. I had to go out of town because there was no more time in the studio - my friend had very kindly offered to let us record. It was quiet you know, I didnât know anything about anything. I knew what I was writing and I was just trying to remember itâ¦â

In 2009 her sophomore album continued to earn her respect form all directions and a growing fan base to boot. A quality vocal mixed with well written tracks, stunning hooks and a first class arrangement, all led by her now trademark piano based orchestration. It seemed like a natural progression for a new release to take⦠âMy One and Only Thrill,â was completed because I had a band and we were touring.â She recalls. âThe second album with Larry (Klein) was basically what we were doing live, but with a little bit of refinement and of course the orchestra, but it was OUR live band. At that time I was still learning what it meant to tour, I was still leaning what it meant to do a showâ¦I mean, I wasnât raised to understand any of that, I kind of fell into those shoes.â

As we start to talk about the new album, I noticed Larry Klein, after not appearing on the last album, âThe Absenceâ (2012), is back on production duties once more. On purpose perhaps? âNo. This record is really thanks to Paris. I was staying in a place I usually stay and I bumped into Larry and we just started talking, the universe is like that! We kinda started talking and reconnected little bit, he talking about what he was doing and I talked about what I was doing. I had a couple of songs in my pocket but wasnât ready to make a record yet, so I was just thinking about itâ¦I was still waiting to see when I wanted to do it, where? All of the things you get the luxury to think about in a way when your international. Maybe we record it in France, maybe we record it Ireland, maybe we record it in L.A. â¦in this case it was L.A.â

The album âCurrency Of Manâ is out June 1st on Decca Records

melodygardot.co.uk

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To read more from our exclusive interview with jazz star Melody Gardot⦠Pick up a copy of the latest Blues & Soul magazine at your local magazine retailer, inc; WH Smith, Menzies + selected Euro Foods, Cost Cutters and a plethora of independents everywhere⦠if they don't stock it, ask for a "B&S shop save" and they will get it for you.
Words LEE TYLER

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