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'Jazz By Way of London' Web-Series
Part 4 Featuring: Gretchen Parlato

by London Town, February 19, 2012

"it´s not often we are treated to a jazz vocalist who is able to imbue her voice-as-instrument with effortless understated style. We are talking about none other than fast-rising New-York based Californian singing star Gretchen Parlato, an alumnus of the Thelonious Monk Institute. We caught up with Parlato after her performance at the Kings Place during the London Jazz Festival 2011. She spoke to us about her musical upbringing, the creative process on her latest album 'The Lost & Found', working with Robert Glasper and gave us an insight into her vivaciously witty double-life Helen McKenzie." » watch video interview

#7 Album of the Year, 2011 - Jazzwise Magazine
Dec-Jan issue Jazzwise

LJF Concert review: Gretchen Parlato, 19 nov 2011

"refiguring jazz singing in the 21st century"

"The New-York based Californian and her band are terrific on record – but in live performance they fill this music with even more energy, stretching it like some magic pliable plastic into new and exciting forms. The rhythmic and dynamic expertise of all four is extraordinary. They shift the accents around, they pause, and fall back in perfectly, they deepen the groove and then “shallow” it gently again... the quartet develops a singular character, with the instrumentalists forming a bubbling hot vortex at the centre of which the singer maintains a cool, in every sense, fulcrum." » more

London Jazz Festival — Gretchen Parlato
Sam Braysher reviews Gretchen Parlato, at Kings Place, 18 November 2011

"The quartet share an obvious affection for one another and manage to keep on bringing fresh approaches to songs" » more

London Jazz Festival hits the capital
Jack Massarik, Evening Standard, 1 Nov 2011

"From bebop to big-band, next week's London Jazz Festival is set to be the biggest yet. Jack Massarik plucks the highlights..."

BEST OF THE FEST: Gretchen Parlato - Nov 18, 8pm, Kings Place, N1

Young American singer-songwriter whose intimate, fastidious style has impressed an unusually wide array of critics. Her songs are clever and original and her breathless delivery of them conceals subtle melodic shifts. » more

Gretchen Parlato - The Lost and Found — ****
Chris Ingham, MOJO - UK, Aug 2011

"A jazz singer unlike any other, Parlato eschews grandstanding scat and soul-drenched paraphrasing with an understated, murmuring quality which rather belies her originality and invention." » more

Gretchen Parlato - The Lost and Found — ****
Peter Quinn, Jazzwise Magazine, July 2011

"Having one of the most dreamily mellifluous tones in jazz is one thing. But Gretchen Parlato also possesses such a highly developed rhythmic concept that she makes a lot of other jazz singers seem completely in thrall to the bar line by comparison. One of the great things about this remarkable new album is the fluidity of the music-making, with singer and band so tightly locked together that they can perform the subtlest metrical shifts and rhythmic twists without even breaking a sweat." » more

Gretchen Parlato - The Lost and Found
Mark Gilbert, Jazz Journal (UK), July 2011

"a silky soprano voice with some of the mannerisms of black soul... a very able singer who's causing considerable excitement" » more

Putting a Name to a Talented Face
Metro (UK), 8 Jul, 2011

"If you're looking for a good name to drop in hip young jazz circles, try Gretchen Parlato. The US singer/songwriter's ethereal lyricism reaches new heights on..." » read article (pdf)

Gretchen Parlato - The Lost and Found
Mike Hobart, Financial Times, UK - 25, Jun 2011

"Gretchen Parlato approaches her self-penned lyrics with the same oblique logic as her main inspiration, saxophonist Wayn Shorter. As fragile as the relationships she describes, her half-whispered, pitch-perfect vocals curl over understated harmonies and hover decisively over the ultra-sharp contemporary grooves of her terrific band." » more

Gretchen Parlato - The Lost and Found — ****
John Fordham, The Guardian, 24 Jun 2011

"Think Astrud Gilberto with Norma Winstone's harmonic sophistication, and a contemporary rhythmic hipness fuelled by New York's eclectic downtown scene... a sensuous sound, emotional power and ensemble sense — a delectable set" » more

Gretchen Parlato - The Lost and Found — ****
Jack Massarik, Evening Standard (UK), 24 Jun, 2011

"she's a winner all the way... there's a depth to her songs and a rightness about their melodic twists that holds the attention and makes for natural improvisation" » more

Star over London ... a star is born
by Alyn Shipton, BBC
16 November 2010

"...sometimes, you're fortunate enough to hear a musician who really stands out, and has that indefinable quality that denotes a star. What was remarkable about her Barbican appearance was that in the company of eight other singers — Gretchen Parlato simply took over the stage.

Guy's arrangements were completely in tune with her personality, but her handclaps and a cappela intro to Herbie Hancock's Butterfly and her semi-abstract reading of Wayne Shorter's Juju were totally original." » read BBC article

London Jazz Festival — Gretchen Parlato
Review by Sarah Ellen Hughes, LondonJazz
November 16, 2010

"Parlato is an original. She forces us to re-think some of the basics of what jazz singing is about."

Ronnie Scott's had a full house for Gretchen Parlato's London Jazz Festival gig, the audience spattered with some of London’s best vocalists – a sure indication of Parlato’s rapidly growing reputation as a top jazz singer.

Parlato oozes rhythmic confidence. She's a girl who feels the beat through her whole body. She has developed a signature hand clap – clapping half beats while singing the melody freely – which is so impressive, and blurs the lines for the listener between singer and instrumentalist. Parlato’s voice is enhanced by breathy sounds that are as much part of the delivery as the actual notes. Tongue clicks interspersed with consonant-less scatting showcase Parlato’s confidence in performing the first 16 or more bars of a song by herself, never losing time or pitch.
» LondonJazz

London Jazz Festival
The Guardian, John Fordham
17 November 2009

"Young New York singer Gretchen Parlato wove it into a hypnotic late set at Pizza Express, when she exposed the famous Kind of Blue melody, Blue in Green... Parlato's drifting lullabies, whispered calypsos and rare talent for imparting emotional weight to scat lines reveal a star in the wings."

>> read review

Gretchen Parlato Gretchen Parlato
JAZZ: In A Dream (Obliq Sound) ****
Evening Standard, Jack Massarik
November 2009

This snub-nosed New York singer is the surprise hit of the London Jazz Festival, which runs until Sunday. Breathy, gently swinging and coolly feminine, Gretchen Parlato is on a winner with this delightful debut album of underused jazz standards and artful originals, some with her own lyrics. Working with cutting-edge songwriters (Robert Glasper, Alan Hampton, Antonio Almeida) and top musicians (pianist Aaron Parks, guitarist Lionel Loueke, bassist Derrick Hodge, drummer Kendrick Scott) obviously doesn't hurt but it's Gretchen's charm and playful savvy that makes this project fly.

Gretchen Parlato — In A Dream
Unveils a singer with her own sound, something
that often takes many years to achieve.

By Kevin Le Gendre, for BBC & Echoes Magazine, UK
24 Sep 2009

"She has an almost insidious subtlety, personalising a theme by way of improvisations that are often just a few delicately curled phrases that sometimes mirror the hypnotically grainy chords of Loueke’s nylon string guitar."

>> BBC review
>> Echoes Magazine

Gretchen Parlato Gretchen Parlato — In A Dream
By Peter Quinn, Jazzwise
October 2009

"Occasionally, an artist comes along whose beauty of timbre alone makes you sit up and listen. Gretchen Parlato is one such singer... somehow makes everything sound effortless, the vocal line weaving in and out of the intricately layered counterpoint one moment, floating delicately on top of it the next."

>> read review

The TimesGretchen Parlato: In a Dream — 4 STARS
Gretchen Parlato, bringing
in other influences, must be a bright young hope

by John Bungey, The Times, London
September 4, 2009

"’s the bright young hope Gretchen Parlato... the LA-born singer’s way with a song is gently thrilling. In her ethereal, floaty style, she switches from singing lyrics to using her voice as a wordless instrument... Her breathy, Latin-tinged I Can’t Help It is as light as a summer breeze and ESP shimmers softly. Innovative, atmospheric, melodic."

>> read article

Gretchen ParlatoMUSIC REVIEW:
Gretchen Parlato, In a Dream

Sep 3, 2009

"So deserving of all of such awards as the prestigious 2004 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition, Gretchen has the uncanny ability to move and mold the mood and emotion of any song and remake it into a stunning part of her growing catalogue …The entire program is a compilation of soothing renditions and songs that are a mental massage for a time wrought with stress."

>> read review