Born: February 2, 1985 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Pull down your shades and light some candles. A simple, yet poignant blend of jazz and folk is headed your way. At 22, singer-songwriter Melody Gardot has a hauntingly smooth voice that can melt even the coldest of hearts.
Melody Gardot has set the bar for what it means to be a musical athlete. Drenched in a sublime vapor of mellow blues, eclectic folk, and the faintest essence of jazz, she breaks forth with her debut full length album, Worrisome Heart. The record is an effervescent 11-track collection of original songs co-produced by Melody Gardot and Grammy-Award winning producer Glenn Barratt. With a superb narrative and inventive vocal-scat patterns, the pianist/guitarist tackles heartache full on by way of velvet tongue and alluring disposition.
Few females successfully master the art of capturing mood and emotion the way Gardot does. There is an expressive candor and yearning in her voice—an insatiable longing reminiscent of greats like Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Nina Simone. Her roots as a piano player in nightclubs of Philadelphia undoubtedly set the framework for developing her post-midnight sultry sound. Though a motor vehicle accident left the young singer disabled, hidden behind dark glasses and a tempting smile is an extraordinary young woman whose daily struggles feed her artistic pursuit:
“I believe in sharing your heart with people, no matter how hard it may be” says Gardot.
At the age of 19, Gardot was hit by a car while riding a bicycle. The injuries sustained mean Gardot now needs to wear dark glasses and carry a cane. Prompted by a tending physician who believed music would help her regain some of her former cognitive abilities, her first musical venture was in 2005, an EP titled, “Some Lessons” recorded from her bedside.
Gardot’s story garnered attention as a fighter who has overcome adversity and risen above her limitations. City Paper Philadelphia honored her with a People’s Choice award saying, “To our eyes, nobody's a more inspiring, more talented fighter than young singing-songwriter phenom Melody Gardot. She turned the pain of a life-changing car accident into surprisingly mature and utterly enthralling music.”
“It was a most unusual start, but when you come from a place where things are tough it makes it that much easier to appreciate the times when life is easy.” she says.
In addition to the trio of musicians who accompany Gardot live, the record features an impressive cast of musicians including guitarist Jef Lee Johnson (Billy Joel, George Duke, Aretha Franklin), Kurt Johnston (Bon Jovi) and trumpeter Matt Cappy (Jill Scott, Kirk Franklin, Dave Chapelle Movie). Poised and ready the young singer shines on “Worrisome Heart”, proving she is an undeniable lyrical contender who from the very first word will knock you out.
(Verve Music Group)
Tracks: Sweet Memory, All That I Need is Love, Wicked Ride, Some Lessons, Gone, Quiet Fire, Worrisome Heart, Love Me Like a River Does, Goodnite, Twilight
Personnel: Melody Gardot: Guitar/Piano/Vox, Matt Cappy: Trumpet, Ron Kerber: Saxophone, Jef Lee Johnson: Guitar, Mike Brenner: Slide, Charles Patierno: Drums, Ken Pendergast: Bass, Paul Kilnefelter: Bass, Patrick Hughes: Trumpet, Diane Monroe: Violin.
Production: Glenn Barratt and Melody Gardot
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