Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Gretchen Parlato's voice is a thing of wonder. Striking the ideal balance between precision and flexibility, she is never predictable, blurring the lines between singer and instrumentalist as she takes a lyric--and at other times improvised flights of wordless fancy--to places it's never before been. On In a Dream, her debut album for ObliqSound, which releases August 25, Parlato and her intuitive support team reinvent constantly, Parlato impeccably articulating in a voice so ethereal that the listener might very well feel that he or she is in a dream.
Coming four years after her self-titled debut, In a Dream finds Parlato embarking on a beguiling journey deep into the heart of both her own compositions and classic material by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and others--all of which she instantly makes her own. Each song emerges as a unique world unto itself, yet there's an undeniable thread linking them all together....
Source: Jeff Tamarkin
Awards:1st place winner of the 2004 Thelonious Monk Int'l Jazz Vocals Competition
Placed in the Top Ten of Downbeat Magazine’s 2009 Critics Poll (Rising Star Female Vocalist Category)
Featured in the 2009 Documentary Channel Series “Icons Among Us: Jazz In The Present Tense”
The future of jazz is alive and well in the hands of artists such as Gretchen Parlato and Lionel Loueke... Together, they make an irresistibly engaging musical combination... Parlato's voice was a flowing, mobile instrument. At times it blended seamlessly with Loueke's guitar, often in tandem with Loueke's singing. At other times, her warm sound -- a persuasive blend of innocence and irony -- found the heart of tunes... And everything she sang revealed her capacity to become immersed in the music without losing her own interpretive way. --Don Heckman, LA Times
...has the musical chops to become a legend. --Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Parlato's sense of subtle rhythmic interplay and understated theatrical nuance takes the ache of Frank and implicates it throughout an improvisational-based esthetic that rests, most often, on Brazilian master- class moments... As simple and restive as she sounds in print, her voice- scatting, cooing, leaning back then soaring-can leap through complex tempo and rhythmic shifts as if riding rapids. -A.D. Amorosi, New York Press
She enters the music, becoming part of the band, improvising in melody and rhythm, prying open sweet spots in the songs... it's evident that she's an extraordinary singer. -Ben Ratliff, New York Times
a singer with a deep, almost magical connection to the music.” --Herbie Hancock
“In an inconspicuous way, Gretchen Parlato knows how to play the same instrument that Frank Sinatra played... There’s no one out there like Gretchen.” --Wayne Shorter
From the beginning we had a real connection, a natural chemistry. She's the only singer that I never have to account for or change the way I play; the guitar and the voice are so well balanced that no one is ever out in front. We complete each other. - Lionel Loueke
Gretchen Parlato has proven herself to be exactly the type of driven, inspiring, and creative artist that I knew she would be the first time I met her. She came to our school program with a style all her own. I am very proud of her and look forward to working with her someday, and also hearing from her in the future. She is something special. - Terence Blanchard
Beautiful voice. The pitch, everything is perfect... She sings beautifully...5 stars - Richard Bona, Blindfold Test, Downbeat July 2007
Parlato has all the makings of jazz ascendancy. She has held her own with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, and her rapport with the acoustic guitarist Lionel Loueke is very nearly profound. - Nate Chinen, Jazz Times
...has the musical chops to become a legend... intimate & completely engaging. Every sound Parlato makes is part of the musical fabric... scats and sings lyrics with a feathery, breathy voice that is gentle, feminine and full of musical nuance and color... She handles flowing, simple melodies and complex, angular lines with equal ease... -Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
deceptively dreamy but musically sophisticated - Guardian Unlimited, UK
If you liked Astrud Gilberto, you'll love Gretchen Parlato. - Don Heckman, LA Times
Rarely does a jazz singer come along whose voice instantly sweeps you off your feet. - David Steinberg, Albuquerque Journal
In A Dream
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