Melody Gardot: The Rain
Melody Gardot (vocals, piano, guitar)
My One and Only Thrill (Verve 12563)
Melody Gardot (vocals, piano, guitar),
Bryan Rogers (tenor sax), Ken Pendergast (bass).
Composed by Gardot & Harris.
Recorded: Multiple locations, no dates given (CD released in 2009)
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
It's been a few years since the Norah Jones Sweepstakes mentality hit the jazz scene—Enter now! Sing a torch song, and maybe you could win a quadruple platinum record—but we still see new entrants. Melody Gardot has many of the right ingredients for stardom. First and foremost her voice, which is conversational and intimate. She has a clean, clear delivery that puts the lyric at the center of every song she sings. She can accompany herself on piano and guitar, and her approach here is very understated with a good sense of space. Even so, I would like to hear her do many of the songs on this CD with a rhythm section that put a little more bite into the comping. This free-floating track threatens to float away on a breeze of rubato—a sensibility that pervades much of this CD. Yet Gardot sings with a lot of heart and soul, and her personal history has enough tragedy in it to meet anyone's metaphysical requirement for dues-paying. I'm not sure if she will win the Norah Jones Sweepstakes, but she is definitely a contender.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia