COMPOSERS: Melody Gardot
PERFORMER: Melody Gardot (vocals, guitar), Larry Goldings (organ), Ken Pendergast (bass), Charlie Patierno (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: 179 7139
Notably, this second release from jazz vocalist and guitarist Melody Gardot is on Universal’s Verve label. Back in the ’60s when Verve producer Creed Taylor was maximising the pop potential of jazz, he was aware of the commercial gains that adding strings would have for the owners, film studio MGM.
The disc evokes this as string flourishes overlay much of Gardot’s output. But at times this sounds too close to neo-Romantic film music.
Gardot excels in the stirring bluesy offerings such as ‘Who Will Comfort Me’ which typify producer Larry Klein (once married to Joni Mitchell). Think here of a jazzy Michelle Shocked over a surging Hammond.
There’ll be crossover appeal due to the wave of pop singers with a retro sound. But Gardot is a cut above – rooted firmly in a jazz performing tradition, she’s a credit to Verve. Neil McKim