recent articles —
Parlato transports audience with masterful performance
On a night overflowing with music, jazz singer Gretchen Parlato concluded this season´s Jazz Series with an exquisite concert on Friday night, May 10, backed by keyboardist Fabian Almazan, bassist Chris Morrissey and drummer Mark Guiliana.
Amid a plethora of female jazz vocalists, Parlato´s style is truly unique in its intimacy and delicacy of each inflection and lyric. I can only describe her as having an aura about her; she was calming and almost introspective in her sound, never sounding forceful or as if she was trying too hard. Her musical style reflected the sultry and sensual sounds of her voice, with each tune feeling fluid and floating.
but she does not soften the blow.
Michael J. West, Washington City Paper
Mar 7, 2013
"The name Gretchen Parlato has been repeated and praised often enough that any jazz fan who hasn't heard her can be skeptical. But once you hear her, chances are you'll be startled anyway. She's just so different. A good singer, we tend to think, seeks out the subtleties to work with in a song. Parlato seeks out the blatancies in a song and makes them subtle, seemingly effortlessly. It takes courage to maintain such gentleness, and brilliance, maybe even genius..." » more
by Giovanni Russonello, Capitalbop, Mar 6, 2013
"It´s hard to find a jazz singer that has captured more people´s attention and curiosity in the past five years than Gretchen Parlato. In a smoky voice that somehow twines soft and sibilant exhalations with a crackling percussiveness, she drapes ennui and desire over bossa nova, jazz standards, her own originals, and compositions by contemporaries.
It´s that last category that Parlato likes most to talk about: She´s part of an energized, free-spirited generation in jazz, one that´s as proud of its interwoven community as it is of its collective autonomy. These women and men don´t wait to bend the jazz tradition..."
By Nicky Schrire, JazzHistoryOnline.com
December 6, 2012
"It is no small feat for an artist to grow and innovate while paying homage to the jazz tradition. These opposing traits have led to recent debates on the nature and definition of jazz. While the vocalists who channel their inner Billie Holiday tend to be more easily received by audiences and critics, it takes a certain amount of courage and audacity to stretch the boundaries of jazz and charter unknown territory. One vocalist whose creativity excites and inspires me is Gretchen Parlato, a singer well known for her lilting, soft-toned vocal stylings and her blend of jazz, hip hop, pop and R&B genres into a unique concoction of groove-driven, melodious jazz. This week, she performed two shows at New York City´s Rockwood Music Hall as she recorded a live CD and DVD. Rockwood´s plush red interior and Parlato´s phenomenal lineup set the scene for an intimate and spirited performance."
» read article
A Night for Freedom with Esperanza Spalding, Bobby McFerrin,
Gretchen Parlato and Special Guests Paul Simon and Prince!
"Every Week as part of Dani Elwell's "Sunday Afternoon Jazz," Dani asks notable personalities from all walks of life what their top three jazz tunes are.
This week's "My Three…" belongs to the wonderfully talented Gretchen Parlato. Her most recent album The Lost and Found is still getting play in many a jazz fans´ world. Her appearances on the Grammy winning The Mosaic Project from Terri Lyne Carrington and on Marcus Miller´s Renaissance, prove that she is an in-demand, unique vocalist.
Gretchen Parlato…. Your three?" » more at http://www.jazz.fm
Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen, June 24, 2012
"In a perfect world, everyone who attended a Gretchen Parlato concert would receive magic earbuds that delivered a transparent, balanced transmission of the music so that the singer´s every nuance of timbre and phrasing would be crystal-clear. The New York vocalist deserves as much. Hers is an intriguing signature sound... Parlato got her message across and her artistry was undeniable." » more
by Denis Armstrong, QMI Agency, Canoe.ca, Jun 24, 2012
"The big buzz so far at this year´s festival was for singer Gretchen Parlato. Not surprising then, that fans were climbing over each other at the National Arts Centre´s 300-seat Studio theatre to get a closer look and listen to Parlato... But best of all was the chemistry that Parlato and her band have that made last night´s performance as fascinating to watch as it was to hear." ...more
Jazz vocalist sings softly
but packs a big punch
By Peter Hum, The Ottawa Citizen, June 22, 2012
"When Gretchen Parlato was in Grade 8, a teacher wrote in her yearbook: "What a quiet power you are." She was a self-described 'Valley girl' growing up in Los Angeles, a few years away from embracing jazz. It would take more than a few more years, and a move to New York, before Parlato would climb to the top echelon of the jazz world´s vocalists." » more
By Chris Smith, Winnipeg Free Press, June 22, 2012
"her style relies a great deal on the substitution of sounds for words that makes her as much an instrumentalist as singer throughout her performances... Whatever she sings, her emotion and languid style capture the audience's attention, drawing them into the feeling of the song as much as the message conveyed by the words. Parlato is a singer who, over time, likely will effect a change in jazz singing in general." » more
The rebirth of the cool: Jazz is back, and it´s going places
"An adventurous group of musicians — many of them in their twenties and thirties — pushing at their music´s boundaries, helping it to thrive."
Robert Glasper: ´People want to hear some s–t that they can identify with, that they like, that has something to do with their struggles, not something old that has no connection´.
Parlato agrees: "It always seems natural for me to open up the repertoire to any music that means something to me as an artist." » read article
This one´s for all the jazzophobes
"singer Gretchen Parlato - is as informed by hip-hop, Michael Jackson and bossa nova as she is by Ella Fitzgerald" » more
by Thomas Cunniffe, Jazz History Online - Profiles
"With a chorus of rave reviews heralding her latest CD, "The Lost and Found" (Obliqsound), one might expect Parlato to take on the trappings of celebrity. Yet, that is far from the case. Her singing voice is soft, but her voice (like those of her idols, Billie Holiday, João Gilberto and Shirley Horn) is very flexible and expressive. Her repertoire includes covers of pop and R&B tunes, as well as post-bop jazz classics from Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. She wrote lyrics to Shorter´s "Juju" as a student at the Thelonious Monk Institute, and the arrangement Parlato and the band created back then is a key track on her new CD. While Shorter´s original Blue Note recording was fiery and Coltrane-esque, Parlato´s version is atmospheric and understated. The lyrics, based on several of Shorter´s sayings, are airy and philosophical. Her scat solo starts as a murmur, using open throat sounds and very few percussive consonants. The moaning, trance-like sounds build in intensity, pitch and volume. Before long, her voice is soaring over the propulsive rhythm section with heart-wrenching emotive cries." » read article
finds inspiration in the least likely of places
Sebastian Fryer, Kalamazoo Gazette, April 13, 2012
"I just did my own kind of soul-searching, realizing who I am and what the story is I have to tell and share through my music," she said. "That could be the biggest influence, just honesty." » more
The voice of jazz singer Gretchen Parlato
By Cara Lieraunce, WMUK, April 13, 2012
"There's always those moments that something happens that kind of forces everybody to be struck into the moment and react to that specific thing. Wherever your mind might have been, it gets very very focused on what just happened, for everybody, it's great." » listen to interview
Roseanna Vitro interviews fellow vocalist Parlato
about her approach to vocalizing
JazzTimes, Apr 10, 2012
"Gretchen Parlato´s career ignited after winning the Thelonious Monk Vocal Jazz Competition in 2004. This honor was a game changer in vocal jazz for honoring a singer´s musicianship and connection with the band versus a big voiced performer in front of the band. Gretchen´s touring schedule these days is one which any young or old jazz singer would be thrilled to call their own. Vocally, Gretchen possesses a sexy, breathy sound with excellent pitch. Her rhythmic precision, control and overall musicianship are obvious from the downbeat when you hear any of her recordings." » interview @ JazzTimes
"A rare opportunity... hearing Gretchen Parlato in Athens in 2012
is like having heard Billie Holiday in Athens in 1939."
» review @ jumpingfish.gr
» more articles & interviews from Athens:
» interview @ mixtape.gr
» interview @ avopolis.gr
» interview @ athensvoice.gr
» article @ clickatlife.gr
Part 4 Featuring: Gretchen Parlato
by London Town, February 19, 2012
"it´s not often we are treated to a jazz vocalist who is able to imbue her voice-as-instrument with effortless understated style. We are talking about none other than fast-rising New-York based Californian singing star Gretchen Parlato, an alumnus of the Thelonious Monk Institute. We caught up with Parlato after her performance at the Kings Place during the London Jazz Festival 2011. She spoke to us about her musical upbringing, the creative process on her latest album 'The Lost & Found', working with Robert Glasper and gave us an insight into her vivaciously witty double-life Helen McKenzie." » watch video interview
— JazzTimes 2011 Expanded Critics Poll
The singer's eclectic influences on her 2011 album,
'The Lost and Found,' had critics scrambling for superlatives,
and she's just hitting her stride as a writer.
By Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times, January 20, 2012
"Though this year's Grammy nominations in jazz are without any Earth-rippling surprises à la last year's new-artist breakthrough by Esperanza Spalding, L.A.-born singer-songwriter Gretchen Parlato could've been considered a solid bet to follow in her footsteps if ours was the sort of world where lightning could strike twice.
Though Parlato's 2011 album, "The Lost and Found," was overlooked by the Recording Academy, it was a fixture on many best-of lists at the end of the year, including Rhapsody's inaugural Jazz Critics' Poll (formerly hosted at the Village Voice)." » more
Interview by Tamara Davidson, Revivalist.com
What better way to launch our vocalist issue than to feature an in depth interview with Tillery, an inspiring trio of vocalists who have their feet in the jazz world and have come together to make music that authentically expresses themselves. The ladies of Tillery, Rebecca Martin who has been playing music for over two decades in the jazz world as well performing as a singer-songwriter and guitarist, Gretchen Parlato one of the most respected jazz vocalists of our time, and Becca Stevens the youngest of the three who is already a prolific songwriter and guitarist are a powerful team. It is not everyday that you see three jazz vocalists coming together, which makes Tillery a quite refreshing and important group. Grounded in friendship and love, their music exudes compassion and warmth. » more
By Andrew Gilbert, Mercury News, 01/19/2012
"With a silvery voice that seems to glide on the air and an unerring ear for navigating intricate melodies, Gretchen Parlato has captivated the jazz world like no singer in a generation.
A savvy bandleader, blossoming composer and inspired collaborator, she's forged an insinuating sound deeply informed by samba ballads and bossa nova. While she's released just three albums under her own name in the last eight years, Parlato has contributed to more than four dozen albums by her peers, from established masters such as pianist Kenny Barron and trumpeter Terence Blanchard to contemporaries like guitarist Lionel Loueke and trumpeter Sean Jones." » more
Chris Barton, LA Times, January 19, 2012
"A fixture on many year-end lists among jazz critics this year, L.A.-born singer Gretchen Parlato mixes up a variety of sounds on her 2011 album "The Lost and Found." Co-produced by acclaimed pianist Robert Glasper, the album finds Parlato putting her unique stamp on source material as varied as Wayne Shorter, Ambrose Akinmusire and Mary J. Blige, and features her debut as a songwriter in a genre-blind approach that upends expectations for what a jazz vocalist's album can sound like." » more
Rebecca Martin, Gretchen Parlato and Becca Stevens bring diverse influences to this uniquely simpatico supergroup
Andrew Gilbert, JazzTimes, 01/11/12
"While shared esteem animates Tillery, it´s the differences between the women that provide a good deal of the creative frisson. Representing three generations, the vocalists run the gamut in terms of influences. Parlato, 35, is at the center of the contemporary jazz scene, an improviser with an unhyphenated musical identity. Martin, 42, has collaborated with renowned jazzers like the late Paul Motian, but her own music falls toward the lyrically deft singer-songwriter camp. And Stevens, 27, is a remarkably diverse talent raised in North Carolina on Appalachian roots music. She first garnered national attention as the vocalist in saxophonist Travis Sullivan´s Bjorkestra, but her songs are a seamless amalgam of folk, alt-pop, postbop, European classical and West African music. If the women are able to carve out space for Tillery, there´s no telling what might bloom." » more
by Peter Quinn, 01 January 2012
"2011 can only be described as a banner year for vocal jazz. Gretchen Parlato is blessed with one of the most mellifluous timbres in jazz, but it's her highly developed rhythmic concept that really marks her out. Like some of the great Brazilian singers, Parlato can make the bar line disappear. It helps that she's got a killing band, and together on The Lost and Found they perform the subtlest metrical shifts in the blink of an eye." » more
#2 Best Jazz of 2011, A Blog Supreme, NPR
"Gretchen Parlato is a "different," or "new" type of jazz singer... On The Lost and Found, her third and best album yet, she and her band marshal this original sound on sambas, singer-songwriterly duets, pop covers, tunes by peers, a remix, reconfigured jazz classics, head-bobbers, ballads and a healthy dose of original material. It's catchy, tuneful stuff with contemporary vibrations — especially those of the R&B defined by hip-hop soul. Happily, it also retains the real-time interaction and harmolodic richness native to an older black popular music, one at the dawn of its second century." » more
"Gretchen Parlato possesses what Brazilians call saudade. This mysterious quality, found only in the best singers, is reflected as the sound of deepest longing — for love, for home or for country, for the past and a future unknown. Although Parlato isn't Brazilian, she's comfortable voicing this insatiable state of desire. On her third album, The Lost and Found, she brings that yearning to her original compositions and popular R&B covers..." » top 50 @ npr
Gretchen Parlato and Gerald Clayton Trio at Atlas
By Jason McCool, Pink Line Project, Dec 05, 2011
"The sum effect of Parlato´s approach is transfixing... her treatment of Wayne Shorter´s "Juju" was extraordinary. The firebrand jazz saxophonist and composer for Miles Davis´s classic 1960s quartet has been a mentor to this young singer, and it shows. Amidst the band´s chewy groove, Parlato´s wordless improvisations almost physically urged the music forward, and in its high, sensual register, her voice sounded almost like Wayne´s saxophone on those classic Miles records." » read review
Gretchen Parlato brings modernist restraint to the Modlin
by Peter McElhinney, Style Weekly, Dec 2, 2011
"In performance, jazz vocalist Gretchen Parlato is a revelation. Her highly praised records showcase a singer of delicate control and modernist restraint. But onstage her diaphanous voice expands into an instrument of impressive range, rhythmic sophistication and emotional power." » read review
Jazz singer Gretchen Parlato searches for the essence.
by Craig Belcher, Style Weekly, Nov 29, 2011
"it's not that life is all uphill, you know, it just gets better and better. It's really a cycle, accepting that life is full of sorrow as much as it is with joy and kind of figuring out how to embrace all of it. It can get pretty deep, but it's also pretty simple." » interview part 1
Q: Helen MacKenzie. Where did she come from?
A: She came from her hair. She came from that wig. The story was... » interview part 2
Teacher, Teacher: a New JazzTimes Series
Gretchen Parlato — LET THE AUDIENCE FIND YOU - 11/21/11
Singer Gretchen Parlato was accustomed to the atmosphere of the arts high school she attended in Southern California, where "you´re spoiled in a really good way with being encouraged and inspired and you´re surrounded by arts. It´s so rich, there´s so much opportunity that when you graduate your college years can seem a bit of a letdown... I had more teachers who took the tough-love approach" Yet at UCLA she also found Barbara Morrison. "...there were people questioning whether what I did was good enough or saying it wasn´t loud enough, or it was boring, or that I needed to open up my eyes and move around—there was Barbara, who looked me in the eye and said, ´But you know what, there´s something really special here... what you do, is you allow the audience to come to you.´ That meant so much to hear at a young age, that my approach was valid and justified and special. I think that was even more profound for me," Parlato continues, "because Barbara... has that big voice and I´m little me. So it meant even more for someone like her to acknowledge and appreciate where I was coming from." ...more @ JazzTimes
London Jazz Festival, Nov 18, 2011 — Gretchen Parlato
"The New-York based Californian and her band are terrific on record – but in live performance they fill this music with even more energy, stretching it like some magic pliable plastic into new and exciting forms. The rhythmic and dynamic expertise of all four is extraordinary. They shift the accents around, they pause, and fall back in perfectly, they deepen the groove and then "shallow" it gently again... the quartet develops a singular character, with the instrumentalists forming a bubbling hot vortex at the centre of which the singer maintains a cool, in every sense, fulcrum." » more @ thejazzbreakfast.com
"The quartet share an obvious affection for one another and manage to keep on bringing fresh approaches to songs" » more @ Jazz Journal
Downbeat Magazine Readers Poll - December 2011 issue.
Jack Massarik, Evening Standard, 1 Nov 2011
"From bebop to big-band, next week's London Jazz Festival is set to be the biggest yet. Jack Massarik plucks the highlights..."
BEST OF THE FEST:
Gretchen Parlato - Nov 18, 8pm, Kings Place, N1
Young American singer-songwriter whose intimate, fastidious style has impressed an unusually wide array of critics. Her songs are clever and original and her breathless delivery of them conceals subtle melodic shifts. » more
"Vocalist Gretchen Parlato and her band delivered one of the most perfectly understated and yet undeniably bedazzling jazz concerts of the year at The Egg in Albany. Displaying a confident vulnerability that was never merely fragile...
She drew the crowd in close with an intimate kind of zen samba sound which she applied to a wide ranging repertoire."
» read full review » Alberto Brooks photos @ albanyjazz.com
7 pistas sobre la diva que enamorará a Veracruz
Por: Rafael Robledo | 2011-11-04
"Gretchen Parlato es una de esas voces que, de cuando en cuando, combinan la pureza en la técnica y la armonía en su canto con el carisma que arrastra multitudes.
Parlato es una de las voces más destacadas del jazz contemporáneo, capaz de envolver en la atmósfera de su voz a cualquier auditorio, desde los conformados por expertos hasta los neófitos del género.
La cantante, originaria de Los Angeles es una de los intérpretes que encabezan el programa del Festival Jazz UV en la ciudad de Xalapa, Veracruz, que inició este jueves 3 de noviembre. » more
Rising jazz singer keeps getting better
Stewart Mason, Critical Mob
"Parlato is a remarkably controlled, self-assured singer, which makes her occasional leaps into unrestrained passion -- the climax of her original "Winter Wind," her vocal recasting of Wayne Shorter's post-bop classic "Juju" -- all the more arresting... one of jazz's most important young talents." » more
Gretchen Parlato: On All Things Lost and Found
Broadening the Jazz Perspective
October 6, 2011 by Angelika Beener
"Everyone has a story to tell, and it´s not about trying to sound like anyone else," singer Gretchen Parlato said to me on a pleasantly balmy fall afternoon, as we sat under a colossal tree in my neighborhood park. We talked about life, love and embracing it all, the good and the bad. When she said those words to me, they resonated particularly deep, as such is true no matter what your career or path may be. It´s a simple statement, but just like we discerned for ourselves that day, the older we get, the more those sagacious sayings take on real meaning. For Parlato, her true understanding of those proclamations has been manifested in her latest work, The Lost and Found."
» read interview
By Matt Schudel, Washington Post, Sep 8, 2011
For two years, singer Gretchen Parlato studied with jazz masters and toured the world as part of the Monk Institute´s intensive college-level program, based in Los Angeles. Parlato was the first singer and only the second woman chosen for the all-expenses-paid program. "It´s a life-changing thing and a unique experience," says Parlato. "You end up tapping into yourself and doing a lot of soul-searching."
Artist's Choice: Gretchen Parlato on Herbie Hancock
By Gretchen Parlato
JazzTimes Magazine, Aug 30, 2011
Choosing 10 Herbie Hancock songs that truly represent his full spectrum of genius is close to impossible. So I decided to focus on tracks that are funk- and groove-based, innovative when they were first heard, and clearly inspire the sound, texture and production of today´s music. These are all tracks that hit me in my soul. Here we go...
» gp's favorite Herbie tracks @ JazzTimes
» download PDF article
Chris Ingham, MOJO - UK, Aug 2011
"A jazz singer unlike any other, Parlato eschews grandstanding scat and soul-drenched paraphrasing with an understated, murmuring quality which rather belies her originality and invention."
Gretchen Parlato: A Maven of Tone, Timbre and Texture
by Larry Appelbaum, JazzTimes, Aug 18, 2011
"Since winning the 2004 Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocal Competition, California-raised, New York-based Gretchen Parlato has become a favorite of critics, fans and fellow musicians. The 35-year-old sings standards, but not from the dog-eared pages of the Great American Songbook. With a musician´s sensibility, she carves out idiosyncratic arrangements of jazz instrumentals and Brazilian sambas, as well as pop and R&B gems from the ´80s and ´90s. She´s also starting to write more, and her song stories are as distinctive as her phrasing.
It seems everyone wants to work with Parlato these days, and she´s already appeared on more than 50 recordings, including projects with Lionel Loueke, Kenny Barron, Terence Blanchard, Becca Stevens and Esperanza Spalding. Parlato´s latest recording as a leader is The Lost and Found (ObliqSound)."
» read interview @ JazzTimes
» download PDF
Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll - August 2011 issue.
» critics poll winners
Peter Quinn, Jazzwise Magazine, July 2011
"Having one of the most dreamily mellifluous tones in jazz is one thing. But Gretchen Parlato also possesses such a highly developed rhythmic concept that she makes a lot of other jazz singers seem completely in thrall to the bar line by comparison. One of the great things about this remarkable new album is the fluidity of the music-making, with singer and band so tightly locked together that they can perform the subtlest metrical shifts and rhythmic twists without even breaking a sweat."
by Mark E Hayes, Passing Notes, July 25, 2011
"...there's so much music on The Lost and Found – some of it straightforward, smart, radio-friendly, and some of it rich, manifold, formidable – that it's a challenge to take it all in. But what Gretchen Parlato does again and again on this release – more so now as a writer and producer -- is to keep the texture of the music and the sound of the band unified. She does this, first at foremost, of course, with her remarkable voice. But with The Lost and Found, one can hear Parlato's musical intelligence and imagination fully in residence. This is a jazz musician who has found herself." » more
Mark Gilbert, Jazz Journal (UK), July 2011
"a silky soprano voice with some of the mannerisms of black soul... a very able singer who's causing considerable excitement"
Metro (UK), 8 Jul, 2011
"If you're looking for a good name to drop in hip young jazz circles, try Gretchen Parlato. The US singer/songwriter's ethereal lyricism reaches new heights on..."
» read article (pdf)
Rob Adams, Herald Scotland, 4 Jul 2011
"Cooking in jazz generally relates to rhythmical momentum or excitement but with Gretchen Parlato it´s tempting to make a more literal comparison with the preparation of ingredients for the consumer´s pleasure.
The Los Angeles-born, New York-based singer takes infinite care with what goes into a performance. Choosing songs that she can sing with meaning is clearly only the beginning, because her arrangements and the way she and her trio interact show an attention to detail that´s positively, well, chef-like.
Parlato´s singing is beautifully measured. She has poise, clarity and the ability convincingly to relay a whole range of emotions as if having a one-to-one conversation. But it´s the whole package that engages: her band´s utterly sympathetic knack of grooving quietly or picking up the pace when appropriate, the imaginative mixing of textures both acoustic and electric and Parlato´s aptitude for making ensemble music all by herself with just her voice and an intricate hand-clapping pattern. The bad news is, with her star potential, we may never get to see her again in such an intimate space." » more
Radio programmer and host Russ Davis reports on performances by vocalist Gretchen Parlato and pianist Tigran Hamasyan during the 2011 Montreal International Jazz Festival
By Russ Davis, JazzTimes, July 02, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato has an absolutely unique voice, really unlike anyone I´ve ever heard. It is so perfectly imperfect in the mold of Billie Holiday in that she emotes in such a wonderfully real, natural and human way as she slides above and below the notes finally arriving at the perfect point. At times she is not exactly articulating the lyrics as much as communicating the words in moans and sighs. Gretchen walked on stage sporting an asymmetrical little black dress and her now-signature asymmetrical hairstyle, all a perfect complement to her unconventional vocal style that has enthralled audiences worldwide. Her latest release, The Lost And Found, has topped the jazz charts and much of the set was filled with songs from this album which shows more and more what a fine writer she is as well an interpreter of the tunes of others as varied as Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder and Wayne Shorter." » more
Alain Brunet, La Presse, 29 juin 2011
Voile superbe, subtils chuchotements, attention particulière aux sonorités de chaque syllabe, recherche de timbre, vision unique de l'improvisation, fleur de peau pour chaque chanson investie, capacité réelle d'ouvrir la machine lorsqu'il y a lieu de le faire - sans qu'on puisse conclure à une chanteuse qui fera s'écouler les murs de Jéricho. Musicienne, leader, compositrice, réalisatrice... Une artiste au vrai sens du terme.
» read interview » more Canadian reviews (fr / engl)
Gretchen Parlato, at L´Astral
T'cha Dunlevy, Montreal Gazette, June 29, 2011
"There wasn´t a ticket to be had for Gretchen Parlato´s Tuesday evening set at L´Astral. Sold out well before showtime, the New York-based jazz singer´s performance proved that the buzz is merited.
...Parlato comes with a pedigree; but she also comes with something you can´t teach – feeling. She knows of subtlety, Ms. Parlato. Understatement is her friend, and she used it masterfully throughout her 90-minute set. Sometimes her vocal tones merged with the sounds of the instruments being played around her; sometimes they floated into the ether; always they struck intimate, emotional chords in those who listened. This was deep, playful, modern jazz song delivered by a young star in the making." » more
By Ian Patterson, All About Jazz, June 27, 2011
"Parlato is undoubtedly one of the most exciting talents to emerge in this incredible generation—this movement, of young talent which is defining and shaping modern jazz. Respectful of tradition, yet equally inspired by her contemporaries, Parlato is expanding the standards repertoire and pushing the expectations of what a jazz vocalist can do. She is, in her own way, a quiet revolutionary" » more
by Greg Thomas, NY Daily News, June 26 2011
"Listening to vocalist Gretchen Parlato is like standing on a clear blue-water beach, with warm water splashing gently over your feet as you scan the horizon. She breathes nuance; a velvet texture informs her interpretations of songs on her third recording, which has been in or near the top 10 of best-charting jazz albums
in Billboard since its recent release." » more
Jack Massarik, Evening Standard (UK), 24 Jun, 2011
"she's a winner all the way... there's a depth to her songs and a rightness about their melodic twists that holds the attention and makes for natural improvisation"
By Mike Hobart, Financial Times, June 25, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato approaches her self-penned lyrics with the same oblique logic as her main inspiration, saxophonist Wayne Shorter... As fragile as the relationships she describes, her half-whispered, pitch-perfect vocals curl over understated harmonies and hover decisively over the ultra-sharp contemporary grooves of her terrific band." » more
Review — 4 stars
John Fordham, The Guardian, 23 June 2011
""Think Astrud Gilberto with Norma Winstone's harmonic sophistication, and a contemporary rhythmic hipness fuelled by New York's eclectic downtown scene... a sensuous sound, emotional power and ensemble sense — a delectable set"" » more
Paparoxi: The Voice of Healthy Living, Jun 18, 2011
"Parlato´s voice is not the only thing that is amazing but she has a style that is all her own. From her sleek haircut to her chic and simple yet at time quirky fashion sense she is the total package. From the interviews she has given and her bio Parlato has a strong sense of who she is and the unique talent that she is offering to the world. On the journey to find one´s self Parlato has definitely arrived and her spirit is my ROXI inspiration this week." » more
Gretchen Parlato, 'The Lost and Found'
Patrick Jarenwattananon, NPR, Jun 14, 2011
"The most interesting thing about The Lost and Found, Parlato's third and best album so far, is that she plays well with others — that she can marshal this original sound within a real band. It's catchy, tuneful stuff that vibrates with the pulse of modern music — by which I mostly mean the strains of R&B into which hip-hop has dug deep roots — while retaining the real-time interaction and harmolodic richness of jazz, circa 2011." » more
Spirit Magazine, Southwest Airlines
JAZZ | Gretchen Parlato
"Parlato explores a song's nooks and crannies with a lithe, dreamy touch. Her new CD, The Lost and Found, is full of surprises: rhythmically tricky original compositions and luminous interpretations. REMINDS US OF:” Astrud Gilberto filtered through the urbane sensibilities of a self-admitted "former Valley Girl." » more (pdf)
Gretchen Parlato - The Lost and Found
Paul Weiderman, Santa Fe New Mexican
"The Lost and Found often has an ethereal quality, but the delicate vocals are anchored by her weighty improvisations. This is magical stuff.” » read article (pdf)
Trying to Find a Balance
by Gretchen Parlato, JAY Z Life + Times, Jun 7, 2011
"For jazz singer Gretchen Parlato, being able to sync her mind and body is the key to achieving her sound. “My voice is my instrument,” she says. “My body is my instrument. It is all related and connected. I believe that we hold emotions physically in areas of our bodies, so we need to open up these areas, these channels, so that all can pass and move through us. Singing is an exhale. Singing is a release. Singing is breath. Singing is a balance.” » hear "Still" to gp's 7 favorite yoga positions
The 25 essential New York City jazz icons
TimeOut, New York
"18. Gretchen Parlato made leading figures like Wayne Shorter, Terence Blanchard & Kenny Barron into enthusiastic fans... has overturned clichés to make jazz singing cool again." » more
Gretchen Parlato: Norwich, UK, May 20, 2011
Bruce Lindsay, All About Jazz, June 3, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato has achieved something that is increasingly difficult in contemporary jazz, where originality and innovation seem too often to be viewed as barriers to a vocalist's success, rather than qualities to be praised and nurtured. She has merged her distinctive vocal style with an intriguing selection of material to create a sound that is unique and utterly compelling.” » more
Gretchen Parlato's 'The Lost And Found' Features Wide Range of Jazz Influences
Doug Levine, Voice of America, June 1, 2011
"We all know what winning an American Idol competition can do for a singer’s career. Even a Top 10 showing can keep a performer working for years. Winning one of the world’s most prestigious jazz competitions can also prove a worthwhile endeavor. ” » more
Jazz Bag: The Latest From Gretchen Palato
Bill Carbone, New Haven Advocate, May 25, 2011
"The record is so conceptually tight that disparate styles ooze effortlessly into one another... On Wayne Shorter’s “Juju” Parlato’s lyrics impart a tale in tandem with a rendering of the melody as fluid and clear as any saxophonist could muster, and the song is further marked by a stunning improvisation in which the sax of guest musician Dayna Stephen and Parlato’s wordless-but-not-scat vocals soar over a rhythm section thunderstorm. ” » more
The Lost and Found
Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes, May 21, 2011
"She can sound like morning rain, twilight fog, crashing waves or swirling snowflakes. But tranquil or stormy, dreamy or restive, eider-soft or hard as sleet, Gretchen Parlato remains the freshest and purest of contemporary vocalists.” » more
Gretchen Parlato - The Lost and Found
Robin Margolis, Audiophile Audition, May 16, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato, widely hailed as rising star, continues to actively propel jazz toward fresh further possibilities. Lost and Found, marks another important step in this evolution. It also displays her cohort of contemporaries equally committed to enlivening the tradition through innovation and the renewal of its relevance to wide audiences.” » more
Gretchen Parlato: A Stunning New Voice
Tom Schnabel, Rhythm Planet, May 2, 2011
"Gretchen’s new album is her strongest yet. She uses her training and discipline to tackle pop songs and original material, and brings the finesse of a jazz musician to whatever she sings. She deserves to be known by your ears and your heart. ” » more
NPR Weekend Edition Sunday
Gretchen Parlato: Stay in the Moment
NPR staff, May 1, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato has been called the most important jazz singer since Cassandra Wilson, and her delicate vocals won over the judges at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2004. Since then, Parlato has appeared on more than 50 recordings, and continues to build a following with tours throughout the U.S. and overseas. Her third album, The Lost and Found, was recently released." » hear it now
75 years ago, nobody sang like Billie Holiday;
today, nobody sings like Gretchen Parlato.
Wilbert Sostre, All About Jazz, April 29, 2011
"Despite being completely different singers, there's a lot to connect Gretchen Parlato with the legendary Billie Holiday... what draws them together is the uniqueness of their respective styles... the originality and pure feeling of their voices is what has set them apart from any other jazz singer." » more
Gretchen Parlato & Conrad Herwig
On NPR JazzSet
"At the Newport Jazz Festival, we're visiting the Quad and Harbor Stages, where the first rows of audience sit snug up to the performer. With her understated style, love of the lyric and freedom, vocalist Gretchen Parlato makes that closeness work. Everyone leans in and listens." » hear it now
Culture Watch: Gretchen Parlato's
'The Lost and Found' CD
Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times, Apr 27, 2011
"With a similar knack for deftly incorporating funk and breezy Latin textures into her songs, it's easy to draw a dotted line from this young vocalist to recent Grammy favorite Esperanza Spalding..." » more
"With her gentle, soulful, resonant tone and unique blend of jazz, urban and Brazilian elements, Gretchen Parlato has a sound and vibe all her own. This project makes yet another case for Parlato being one of the most creative and outstanding vocalists of the modern jazz era."
» more @ The Jazz Page
The Lost and Found :
Gretchen Parlato frôle le sublime
Alain Brunet, 22 avril 2011
"Voilà une vraie chanteuse de jazz émergeant de cette inondation permanente de voix pop qu’on associe confusément au genre. Une des rares chanteuses de jazz ayant eu le culot d’adapter ses compétences aux nouvelles propositions soumises par la jeune génération. Sans renier le style musical dont elle manifeste une connaissance profonde, Gretchen Parlato s’applique à jazzifier soul, hip hop, folk, musique populaire brésilienne jazzifiée et plus encore.” » more
JAZZIZ FEATURE INTERVIEW
A Voice All Her Own
Singer Gretchen Parlato sweeps aside her fears
on The Lost and Found
Interview with Kara Manning, Jazziz Magazine
Spring Edition, 2011
"The theme just kept unraveling of the lost and found... light and dark, good and bad. It's always a cycle. Just when you think you've figured it all out, something happens that knocks us off balance."
In depth interview includes the process of working with Robert Glasper, the Monk Institute, also interviews with Glasper, Esperanza Spalding, Tierney Sutton.
» read article (PDF)
Jazz in her heart
Wichita Eagle, April 22, 2011
"While growing up in Los Angeles during the '80s, Gretchen Parlato was a "Valley Girl" who came of age weaned on new wave and pop. But she was also exposed to jazz and other forms of music. "I always had an appreciation for jazz," she said. "I heard all kinds of music. There was classical and, well, everything." » more
Gretchen Parlato digs deep at the Caverns
by Jati Lindsay and Giovanni Russonello, CapitalBop
Apr 20, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato is one of the most closely watched and creative contemporary musicians making their mark on the national and international jazz scenes. At times, Parlato can seem to be singing simply in the language of the human body, pointedly rhythmic but weightlessly melodic in a way that evokes the heart beating, or blood flowing. ” » more
Gretchen Parlato: Master Of Restraint
NPR, All Things Considered
Apr 19, 2011, 7pm et
"The Lost and Found sparkles from beginning to end, but one track, "Still," stands out. It's easy to be cynical about love songs, especially ones from jazz divas. This one stopped me in my tracks. It feels as though Parlato, who wrote the words to music by bassist Alan Hampton, is sharing a private meditation at 11 beats per measure, about being true to the ideal of love no matter what happens."
» hear it @ npr
Gretchen Parlato: “The Lost and Found”
(2011, Obliq Sound)
Andrea Canter, JazzPolice, Apr 19, 2011
"When I think of Parlato... I hear Miles Davis...
if modern jazz singing is all about using the voice as an instrument, Parlato has put her instrument front and center... she has quickly evolved a sound based largely on nuance and subtlety, appealing as much to Brazilian, R&B and pop audiences as to modern jazz listeners. On her third release, she offers an eclectic soundscape of 15 songs, four of her own compositions, 6 more with her own lyrics. Gretchen Parlato’s success may lie as much in her poetry as in her vocal stylings. The Lost and Found highlights both talents.”
Last Weekend in DC… delights of the garden
OpenSkyJazz, Apr 19, 2011
"Parlato’s understated approach and soft-textured voice really reached the packed, multi-kulti audience, starting from the second selection reprising her clever arrangement and treatment of Herbie Hancock‘s “Butterfly.” Parlato is also blessed with a certain Brazilian sensibility in her artistry.” » more
Gretchen Parlato "The Lost and Found"
Andrew Lienhard, Jazz Houston, Apr 07, 2011
All About Jazz, Apr 19, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato's The Lost and Found, the Monk Competition winner's much anticipated third release, secures her position as the leading vocalist in New York's under-40 jazz scene. On this 15-track program, Parlato and producer Robert Glasper blend musical styles like so many cocktails. They purposefully demonstrate that Hip-Hop has a quiet side, that you needn't be from Brazil to play its music, and that a mere whisper can incite goose bumps.” » more
Review of Gretchen Parlato's " Lost and Found"
Ralph A. Miriello, Apr 17, 2011
"Ms. Parlato dispels all questions that she may be a one trick pony. She affirms her truly unique musical vision and further validates her status as a genuine breakthrough talent. Her music is vital and contemporary. Whether she is singing a pop song like Mick Hucknall’s “Holding Back the Years”, complete with co-producer Robert Glasper’s injection of a hip hop influence in the beat, or she is tackling an eerie rendition of Wayne Shorter’s “Ju Ju”, Ms. Parlato brings her own subtle sense of musicality, exquisite timing and unerring pitch to the proceedings.” » more
Album reviews: Gretchen Parlato,
Frontier Justice, Paul Simon and more ...
Peter Hum, The Vancouver Sun
April 15, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato is winning over listeners with a much more understated, intimate sound since she won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition in 2004. Instantly recognizable thanks to her pure, cool timbre and susurrant quality of her voice. The Lost and Found is an impressive collection of 15 tracks that delve expertly and with much feeling into Parlato’s interests... shows Parlato’s artistry is much more than her signature, sighing sound." » more
“It’s More Than a Whisper”:
A Conversation With Gretchen Parlato
Michael J. West, Washington City Paper
Apr 15, 2011
"Parlato is one of the most acclaimed and closely watched singers in jazz, and her star is still rising. Parlato talked to Washington City Paper about songwriting, playing with Terence Blanchard alums, and developing her unique sound.”
» read interview
Young Blood - Old Guard
Michael J. West, Washington City Paper
Apr. 14, 2011
"it's indisputable that she sounds like no one else working in jazz today. Parlato is, in fact, arguably the emblematic jazz vocalist of her generation, and perhaps the most visionary to come along in a generation” » more
Gretchen Parlato thrilled to present wide-ranging new album
Brad Linde, Capitolbop
"Internationally acclaimed vocalist Gretchen Parlato... a flexible and intimate stylist, has continued to cast her spell on audiences through worldwide tours, television appearances and performances on over 50 albums. Parlato strives to pour her soul into every song, making it thoughtful and giving it purpose. 'I want to sing the songs in my own, honest voice – tell my own story,' she said." » more
Interview with Gretchen Parlato
DCist, April 12, 2011
"The main theme is a reflection of the title," Parlato said of the recording. "Most of us experience all kinds of highs and lows and we all have to realize that this is normal. It's all about creating light and dark moods with sound and space."
» read interview
Gretchen Parlato’s The Lost and Found
The Revivalist, Apr 11, 2011
"Miles Davis once famously said, “It’s not the notes you play; it’s the notes you don’t play. Gretchen Parlato seems an undeniable descendant of this school of thought.”
"Now I see why people have been talking about Gretchen Parlato. Music this good doesn't come every day. It's a really strong album. You can bet I'll be playing it on every show."
— Tom Schnabel, KCRW
Parlato keeps it cool—
Rising jazz star tops iTunes chart
with modern, intimate sound
Peter Hum, The Ottawa Citizen
April 9, 2011
"With many of the jazz singers who have risen to the top over the last 15 years, there is arguably a simple, shorthand way to describe what makes them distinctive and appealing. It's not as easy as it might seem to peg Parlato… The Lost and Found shows that Parlato's artistry is much more than her signature, sighing sound -she can be absolutely entrancing in so many different ways. Parlato's ability to wield her voice as an instrument, improvising all the while, will address any jazz purist's skepticism about her bona fides.”
» more @ Ottawa Citizen
» "The Jazz Whisperer Review" @ Peter Hum Blog, Ottawa Citizen
Nick's Picks: The Lost and Found ****
Nick Bewsey, Icon Magazine, April 2011
"Gorgeous... It's getting harder to label Gretchen Parlato as a jazz singer and that's probably by design. She's among a new breed of singer/songwriters like Esperanza Spalding whose foundation of jazz and improvisational technique is also fertilized with pop, soul and hip-hop."
The Lost and Found
John Vincent Barron, JazzReview.com, Apr 5, 2011
"Acclaimed vocalist Gretchen Parlato presents an ambitious follow-up to 2009's In a Dream with The Lost and Found... Parlato is on her way to becoming a mainstay in the field of jazz vocalists.”
Gretchen Parlato Goes From Lost to Found
Interview with Bridget Arnwine, DC Jazz Music Examiner
April 5, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato understands the value of making connections. As a singer/songwriter, success depends on her ability to establish a connection with her audience. But even before that, Parlato knows that a connection to the audience is rooted in her ability to first connect with the music. Today, the singer who has fielded invitations to appear on more than fifty recordings will release her third album as a leader, The Lost and Found (ObliqSound). Based on themes of accepting oppositions that show up in our lives and in our relationships- lost vs. found, happy vs. sad, bad vs. good, dark vs. light- The Lost and Found showcases Parlato at her most vulnerable and, conversely, at her most free.” » more
"April 5: The Lost and Found" hits #1 !
Top Jazz Album
A Jazz Singer for the New Millennium
Gretchen Parlato's understated way with song — 5 stars
By David Weiss, April 4, 2011
"Ms. Parlato's ears are not limited to the dusty gems of the Great American Songbook. On this collection, she brings new life to Simply Red's Holding Back the Years, courtesy of pianist/associate producer Robert Glasper's cool, hip-hoppish beat and her own sensual, breathy timbre; her lovely original composition, Winter Wind, takes some surprising melodic detours and on a version of Mary J. Blige's All That I Can Say, Parlato irons out the jagged beauty of the original and makes it her very own." » more
Look Back at a Legend, Then Revisit Disco
By Nate Chinen, NY Times, April 1, 2011
"The new breed of jazz singer is a chameleon, intuitive and watchful, preoccupied with mood and flow. transfixing... she fashions a mellow, drifting sound informed by Brazil and Wayne Shorter and organic R&B.” » more
Gretchen Parlato Finds 'Peace of Mind'
as a New Breed of Jazz Diva
by Tad Hendrickson, Mar 31, 2011
"Parlato has always looked beyond jazz's established parameters for inspiration. Speaking about music, she talks about projecting moods, feelings or emotions through her songs and lyrics. That's clear even after a cursory listen of her albums, and it's these big-picture ideas that also reflect a deeper more self-assured approach for Parlato." » more @ spinner.com
by Jon Garelick, March 30, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato has been a jazz singer to watch ever since she won the 2004 Thelonious Monk Institute International Vocal Competition. ...pushing the songs rhythmically, she infuses them with a power that's alternately incantatory and meditative. And on her setting of Shorter's "JuJu," she not only holds her own as a "horn" against Stephens's tenor but builds a towering improvisation.” » more @ the phoenix
NPR—First Listen: Gretchen Parlato
'The Lost And Found'
by Patrick Jarenwattananon, NPR
Mar 28, 2011
"Soft and insistent, breathy and sometimes wordless, she doesn't have the voice of Ella, or Sarah, or Betty. But she doesn't need it; on her third album, she's got plenty of that slippery, you-know-it-when-you-hear-it quality often abbreviated "musicality." ...more @ npr
The Lost and Found
Gretchen Parlato | ObliqSound (2011)
By Michael Bailey, All About Jazz
February 26, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato is emerging as the most important jazz singer since Cassandra Wilson. Her vocal approach is so unique and her repertoire so eclectic that she stands to create a jazz vocal genre unto herself."
» read review @ All About Jazz
Gretchen Parlato - The Lost and Found - 4/4
by D. Oscar Groomes, O's Place Jazz Magazine
"Parlato has a unique vocal style with a gentle approach to the music that works well with her soft, airy tones. This is her third release as a leader and she continues along the lines of past success but leaning more towards R&B covers on "Holding Back The Years" and "Circling". Those who prefer more straight ahead jazz will enjoy her vocalese on "Juju", "Me and You" and especially "Blue in Green". We were drawn in by the seductive mood of "Better Than" with a fine piano solo by Taylor Eigsti. Parlato is never too much, always just enough!" » O's Place Jazz Magazine
Star over London ... a star is born
by Alyn Shipton, BBC
16 November 2010
"...sometimes, you're fortunate enough to hear a musician who really stands out, and has that indefinable quality that denotes a star. What was remarkable about her Barbican appearance was that in the company of eight other singers — Gretchen Parlato simply took over the stage.
Guy's arrangements were completely in tune with her personality, but her handclaps and a cappela intro to Herbie Hancock's Butterfly and her semi-abstract reading of Wayne Shorter's Juju were totally original." » read BBC article
London Jazz Festival — Gretchen Parlato
Review by Sarah Ellen Hughes, LondonJazz
November 16, 2010
"Parlato is an original. She forces us to re-think some of the basics of what jazz singing is about."
Ronnie Scott's had a full house for Gretchen Parlato's London Jazz Festival gig, the audience spattered with some of London’s best vocalists – a sure indication of Parlato’s rapidly growing reputation as a top jazz singer.
Parlato oozes rhythmic confidence. She's a girl who feels the beat through her whole body. She has developed a signature hand clap – clapping half beats while singing the melody freely – which is so impressive, and blurs the lines for the listener between singer and instrumentalist. Parlato’s voice is enhanced by breathy sounds that are as much part of the delivery as the actual notes. Tongue clicks interspersed with consonant-less scatting showcase Parlato’s confidence in performing the first 16 or more bars of a song by herself, never losing time or pitch.
Nine Women In The Room: A Jazz Musicians’ Roundtable
The Record - Music News from NPR
Over the summer, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington brought together some pretty high-profile musicians from all over the world to record The Mosaic Project. After a full day of recording, eight of the musicians sat down with Lara Pellegrinelli for a conversation on the topic of women in jazz: Terri Lyne Carrington, Geri Allen, Helen Sung, Esperanza Spalding, Ingrid Jensen, Tineke Postma, Nona Hendryx, and Gretchen Parlato. They shared some of their own experiences and discussed the media, the music business, audience, mentors, and role models. ...more
Esperanza Spalding Chamber Music Society Tour
"The greats need to play with other greats, to humble, challenge, and inspire each other.
Think Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith,
Count Basie and Lester Young, Bird and Diz,
Miles and Coltrane.
...putting the breathtaking vocalist Gretchen Parlato and enfant terrible bassist Esperanza Spalding onstage together is certainly a spectacle unto itself. The two would top any list of rising jazz stars under 35..."
» Washington City Paper
"With the incredible Gretchen Parlato on their rendition of Jobim's "Inútil Paisagem" it was arguably the most magical piece of the evening."
» Opening Ceremony
"a hushed rendering of Jobim’s “Inutil Paisagem” was pure enchantment—thanks in part to guest vocalist Gretchen Parlato"
» Washington Post
Monterey Jazz Festival
"The captivating and deeply musical young vocalist bedazzled, as expected. Her luminous version of Herbie Hancock’s “Butterfly,” for one, was an apex moment of the weekend." » JazzTimes
"Vocalist Gretchen Parlato is part Bobby McFerrin, part Theo Bleckmann, and David Binney."
Track review of "Azure"
by Michael Bailey, All About Jazz
"All men, yes. Parlato's voice is light as an apparition, ethereal and implied... In A Dream is the recording Chet Baker would have made, had he been a woman. "
» read article at All About Jazz
Jazz Comet meets
Concert with the young shooting star of jazz heaven
Gretchen Parlato will be remembered.
by Birger Thøgersen, Politiken.dk
Foto: Jonas Pryner Andersen
"It was a superstar in the making, standing there onstage... the evening will be remembered, one of those you want to talk about in the future and say: I was there."
» full Copenhagen Jazz Festival review in Danish @ Politiken.dk
Newport Jazz Festival: A study in contrasts
by Steve Greenlee, Boston Globe, August 8, 2010
"Gretchen Parlato gives goosebumps... her gorgeous voice behaved more like an instrument – a soprano sax here, a cello there – than something belonging to a singer. The evidence is piling up that young Ms. Parlato is the most original jazz singer in a generation. » read article
GP nominated for Female Singer of the Year
by the Jazz Journalists Association!
Howard Mandel, president of the JJA: "The finalists for 2010 Jazz Awards reflect the depth of talent and breadth of styles that jazz encompasses today. Highly creative octogenarians... are celebrated alongside new-generation musicians..."
» more info & full list @JazzTimes
The Clubs Next Door
By George Wein, JazzTimes
"a slim, quite beautiful young lady...It wasn’t long before her performance captured the audience. I was sitting with Tim Jackson, producer of the Monterey Jazz Festival. Both Tim and I liked Gretchen Parlato. (I think he has asked her to appear in Monterey this year.) I asked Gretchen to perform in June on the CareFusion Jazz Festival in New York at Symphony Space."» more
#1: Best Vocal Jazz Album of the Year!
2009 Voice Jazz Critics' Poll
The Village Voice, NY
December 29, 2009
#4: The Top 10 Jazz Albums of 2009
Michael J. West, Washington City Paper
Dec. 24, 2009
In a Dream: "a breakthrough project by a gifted, young singer..."
"with emotional depth, subtlety, and the kind of precise technical craft where even the breathing sounds matter.” » read article
#6: Steve Greenlee's top jazz albums for 2009
Globe critics name their top 10 list
Steve Greenlee, The Boston Globe
December 20, 2009
Gretchen Parlato - In a Dream: "Whispering and breathing where other singers belt... Parlato nearly creates her own subgenre of jazz vocals." » read article
#8: Critics Picks: Top 50 New Albums
JazzTimes, Jan/Feb 2010
» read article
#9: NPR's Best Music of 2009
The Year of Living Improvisationally
by Josh Jackson
"Intimacy and shared sense of purpose yields stellar results on In a Dream, especially the duets with guitarist Lionel Loueke. Parlato has a commanding vocal control and rhythmic dexterity that's dynamic, even when she's breathy and gossamer." » NPR.org
#10: NPR's Best Music of 2009:
The Year In Jazz, From WDUQ
by Shaunna Morrison Machosky
"We can look forward to a bright future for this up-and-coming singer. It's refreshing to hear a contemporary voice that doesn't just take on the same old standards." » NPR.org
In a Dream #4 - Top 10 Killer Covers
Jazz Times, December 2009
» see top 10
Gretchen Parlato - In a Dream
by Dan Ouellette
Aug 22, 2009
"With her second release, "In a Dream," Parlato's time has arrived. So far, the set is the most alluring jazz vocal album of 2009.
With an impressive band that includes longtime cohort Lionel Loueke on guitar and wordless vocal, Parlato sings with quiet, relentless and oftentimes unpredictable rhythmic grace. She's playfully rapturous on Stevie Wonder's "I Can't Help It," a samba-esque duet with Loueke; joyfully spirited during an a cappella take on the Brazilian tune "Doralice"; and dreamily sensuous whispering over a clipping drum beat on "Within Me."
» Billboard pdf
Gretchen Parlato - In A Dream
By Don Heckman, IROM
August 26, 2009
for Best Jazz Vocal Album..."
"There’s an enigmatic quality to Gretchen Parlato’s singing, a mysterious brew of sound and breath, of simmering inner rhythms and phrasing that curls seductively around the words. The first track, Stevie Wonder’s “I Can’t Help It,” immediately announces that the album is going be an extraordinary musical experience.
Parlato has been blessed with extraordinary talents — an unerring sense of pitch, utterly relaxed rhythmic clarity, an open ear for harmony. Other singers have similar abilities. But what makes Parlato so unique is the imaginative way in which she uses those skills to rove deeply within the instrumental sounds, while still retaining her presence as the vocal center of the music."
In a Dream (Obliqsound)
She has a degree in ethnomusicology from UCLA, was the first vocalist allowed entrée into the esteemed Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, won the Monk Competition in 2004 and has studied privately with Tierney Sutton. In other words, transplanted Californian Gretchen Parlato (now based in New York) is well prepared to take the jazz world by storm. But rather than do so with thunder and lightning, she has opted for whispered mistiness.
Her voice is a rare instrument, endowed with a seductively warm, ethereal quality yet sturdy as sequoia. Her jazz instincts are keenly intuitive, her phrasing (for which she credits Sutton) immaculate. Following in the delicate footsteps of her 2005 eponymous debut, Parlato's In a Dream seems wholly crafted of sweet reveries. She has found an ideal mate for this spirited journey in guitarist and supporting vocalist Lionel Loueke, who considers Parlato his musical "twin sister." Whether meandering through a gauzy reading of Stevie Wonder's "I Can't Help It," savoring the sweet shimmer of Dorival Caymmi's "Doralice," reshaping the smooth R&B funk of SWV's chart-topping "Weak" into four minutes of melting submission, or painting vibrant tone poems atop Wayne Shorter's "E.S.P.," Parlato remains utterly, unfailingly mesmerizing.
Jazz singer Parlato mesmerizes with dream-like voice
By Steve Greenlee, Boston Globe
October 16, 2009
Her show Thursday night at the Regattabar was utterly captivating... stunning from the outset. Wearing a tight black dress, hoop earrings, and a new wave hairdo, Parlato gently clapped her hands while uttering quiet noises, her lips slightly pursed. The band joined in, and gradually the sounds gathered and transformed themselves into an airy, vaguely Brazilian rendition of Herbie Hancock's "Butterfly." As she sang, she retreated into the lyrics, singing from the back of her throat, sucking in the words rather than spilling them forth. She sounded more horn than human.
Here's how spellbinding her set was: When she finished a heartbreakingly gorgeous reworking of Monk's "Ugly Beauty" (with lyrics), the crowd sat in transfixed silence for a good eight or nine seconds before applauding. For a singer, there is no higher praise."
This Jazzwoman speaks softly,
but she carries a big repertoire
By Siddhartha Mitter, Boston Globe
October 11, 2009
in song is not, in fact, a big voice at all."
"It’s the voice of Gretchen Parlato, who has taken an antiheroine’s route to prominence as a jazz singer, breaking with the conventional character traits. Rather than belt or blare, Parlato’s sound is light and contained, nearly conversational. In lieu of frills and pyrotechnics, she uses nuance and a great harmonic subtlety.."
Gretchen's Parlato's In a Dream
By Michael J. West, Washington City Paper
September 9, 2009
"her near-whispers—a sort of seduction through vulnerability—but a more careful listen reveals her extraordinary confidence — audible gasps are devices for suspense and rhythm... reveal Parlato’s mastery of rhythm — emotional depth, subtlety, and the kind of precise technical craft where even the breathing sounds matter.
Loueke’s powerful chemistry with Parlato may indeed be the jazz world’s newest great partnership in the Billie Holiday–Lester Young tradition."
A BLOG SUPREME / NPR JAZZ
Jazz Now: Patrick Jarenwattananon, Editor
5 Top CD Picks
by Patrick Jarenwattananon
September 15, 2009
she knows how to sculpt an arrangement.
For us jazz insider types, it's looking like her time has finally come; the jazz neophyte may wonder why it hasn't arrived earlier."