Melody Gardot

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Melody Gardot
LABELS: Decca
ALBUM TITLE: Currency of Man
PERFORMER: Melody Gardot (vocals), Pete Kuzma (organ), Larry Klein (bass) etc
CATALOGUE NO: 472 4682

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Currency of Man, the fourth disc by Philadelphia-based vocalist Melody Gardot, re-affirms why her uniquely expressive bluesy vocal style created a stir on the jazz scene when her first album was released seven years ago. This recording smoulders with late-night atmosphere, as songwriter Gardot immerses the listener in the emotion of each story. With subtle modulations of her voice she captures each mood, whether it’s about the US civil rights movement (‘Preacher Man’) or a tender recollection of the past (‘Once I was Loved’). ‘Morning Sun’ makes use of a gentle rhythmic accompaniment on piano, while ‘Bad News’ favours rasping horn solos and darkly resonating bass. Gardot also uses strings, giving the disc a cinematic (almost John Barry) quality in places. Some of the production elements – drawing from soul and R ‘n’ B – may deter some jazz listeners. But if it’s voice you are after, then this disc is a winner.

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Neil McKim