articles : usa
— JazzTimes 2011 Expanded Critics Poll
The singer's eclectic influences on her 2011 album,
'The Lost and Found,' had critics scrambling for superlatives,
and she's just hitting her stride as a writer.
By Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times, January 20, 2012
"Though this year's Grammy nominations in jazz are without any Earth-rippling surprises à la last year's new-artist breakthrough by Esperanza Spalding, L.A.-born singer-songwriter Gretchen Parlato could've been considered a solid bet to follow in her footsteps if ours was the sort of world where lightning could strike twice.
Though Parlato's 2011 album, "The Lost and Found," was overlooked by the Recording Academy, it was a fixture on many best-of lists at the end of the year, including Rhapsody's inaugural Jazz Critics' Poll (formerly hosted at the Village Voice)." » more
Interview by Tamara Davidson, Revivalist.com
What better way to launch our vocalist issue than to feature an in depth interview with Tillery, an inspiring trio of vocalists who have their feet in the jazz world and have come together to make music that authentically expresses themselves. The ladies of Tillery, Rebecca Martin who has been playing music for over two decades in the jazz world as well performing as a singer-songwriter and guitarist, Gretchen Parlato one of the most respected jazz vocalists of our time, and Becca Stevens the youngest of the three who is already a prolific songwriter and guitarist are a powerful team. It is not everyday that you see three jazz vocalists coming together, which makes Tillery a quite refreshing and important group. Grounded in friendship and love, their music exudes compassion and warmth. » more
By Andrew Gilbert, Mercury News, 01/19/2012
"With a silvery voice that seems to glide on the air and an unerring ear for navigating intricate melodies, Gretchen Parlato has captivated the jazz world like no singer in a generation.
A savvy bandleader, blossoming composer and inspired collaborator, she's forged an insinuating sound deeply informed by samba ballads and bossa nova. While she's released just three albums under her own name in the last eight years, Parlato has contributed to more than four dozen albums by her peers, from established masters such as pianist Kenny Barron and trumpeter Terence Blanchard to contemporaries like guitarist Lionel Loueke and trumpeter Sean Jones." » more
Chris Barton, LA Times, January 19, 2012
"A fixture on many year-end lists among jazz critics this year, L.A.-born singer Gretchen Parlato mixes up a variety of sounds on her 2011 album "The Lost and Found." Co-produced by acclaimed pianist Robert Glasper, the album finds Parlato putting her unique stamp on source material as varied as Wayne Shorter, Ambrose Akinmusire and Mary J. Blige, and features her debut as a songwriter in a genre-blind approach that upends expectations for what a jazz vocalist's album can sound like." » more
Rebecca Martin, Gretchen Parlato and Becca Stevens bring diverse influences to this uniquely simpatico supergroup
Andrew Gilbert, JazzTimes, 01/11/12
"While shared esteem animates Tillery, it´s the differences between the women that provide a good deal of the creative frisson. Representing three generations, the vocalists run the gamut in terms of influences. Parlato, 35, is at the center of the contemporary jazz scene, an improviser with an unhyphenated musical identity. Martin, 42, has collaborated with renowned jazzers like the late Paul Motian, but her own music falls toward the lyrically deft singer-songwriter camp. And Stevens, 27, is a remarkably diverse talent raised in North Carolina on Appalachian roots music. She first garnered national attention as the vocalist in saxophonist Travis Sullivan´s Bjorkestra, but her songs are a seamless amalgam of folk, alt-pop, postbop, European classical and West African music. If the women are able to carve out space for Tillery, there´s no telling what might bloom." » more
by Peter Quinn, 01 January 2012
"2011 can only be described as a banner year for vocal jazz. Gretchen Parlato is blessed with one of the most mellifluous timbres in jazz, but it's her highly developed rhythmic concept that really marks her out. Like some of the great Brazilian singers, Parlato can make the bar line disappear. It helps that she's got a killing band, and together on The Lost and Found they perform the subtlest metrical shifts in the blink of an eye." » more
#2 Best Jazz of 2011, A Blog Supreme, NPR
"Gretchen Parlato is a "different," or "new" type of jazz singer... On The Lost and Found, her third and best album yet, she and her band marshal this original sound on sambas, singer-songwriterly duets, pop covers, tunes by peers, a remix, reconfigured jazz classics, head-bobbers, ballads and a healthy dose of original material. It's catchy, tuneful stuff with contemporary vibrations — especially those of the R&B defined by hip-hop soul. Happily, it also retains the real-time interaction and harmolodic richness native to an older black popular music, one at the dawn of its second century." » more
"Gretchen Parlato possesses what Brazilians call saudade. This mysterious quality, found only in the best singers, is reflected as the sound of deepest longing — for love, for home or for country, for the past and a future unknown. Although Parlato isn't Brazilian, she's comfortable voicing this insatiable state of desire. On her third album, The Lost and Found, she brings that yearning to her original compositions and popular R&B covers..." » top 50 @ npr
Gretchen Parlato and Gerald Clayton Trio at Atlas
By Jason McCool, Pink Line Project, Dec 05, 2011
"The sum effect of Parlato´s approach is transfixing... her treatment of Wayne Shorter´s "Juju" was extraordinary. The firebrand jazz saxophonist and composer for Miles Davis´s classic 1960s quartet has been a mentor to this young singer, and it shows. Amidst the band´s chewy groove, Parlato´s wordless improvisations almost physically urged the music forward, and in its high, sensual register, her voice sounded almost like Wayne´s saxophone on those classic Miles records." » read review
Gretchen Parlato brings modernist restraint to the Modlin
by Peter McElhinney, Style Weekly, Dec 2, 2011
"In performance, jazz vocalist Gretchen Parlato is a revelation. Her highly praised records showcase a singer of delicate control and modernist restraint. But onstage her diaphanous voice expands into an instrument of impressive range, rhythmic sophistication and emotional power." » read review
Jazz singer Gretchen Parlato searches for the essence.
by Craig Belcher, Style Weekly, Nov 29, 2011
"it's not that life is all uphill, you know, it just gets better and better. It's really a cycle, accepting that life is full of sorrow as much as it is with joy and kind of figuring out how to embrace all of it. It can get pretty deep, but it's also pretty simple." » interview part 1
Q: Helen MacKenzie. Where did she come from?
A: She came from her hair. She came from that wig. The story was... » interview part 2
Teacher, Teacher: a New JazzTimes Series
Gretchen Parlato — LET THE AUDIENCE FIND YOU - 11/21/11
Singer Gretchen Parlato was accustomed to the atmosphere of the arts high school she attended in Southern California, where "you´re spoiled in a really good way with being encouraged and inspired and you´re surrounded by arts. It´s so rich, there´s so much opportunity that when you graduate your college years can seem a bit of a letdown... I had more teachers who took the tough-love approach" Yet at UCLA she also found Barbara Morrison. "...there were people questioning whether what I did was good enough or saying it wasn´t loud enough, or it was boring, or that I needed to open up my eyes and move around—there was Barbara, who looked me in the eye and said, ´But you know what, there´s something really special here... what you do, is you allow the audience to come to you.´ That meant so much to hear at a young age, that my approach was valid and justified and special. I think that was even more profound for me," Parlato continues, "because Barbara... has that big voice and I´m little me. So it meant even more for someone like her to acknowledge and appreciate where I was coming from." ...more @ JazzTimes
LIVE: The Gretchen Parlato Quartet & the Gregoire Maret Quartet @ The Egg, 11/5/11
Vocalist Gretchen Parlato and her band delivered one of the most perfectly understated and yet undeniably bedazzling jazz concerts of the year at The Egg in Albany. Displaying a confident vulnerability that was never merely fragile... She drew the crowd in close with an intimate kind of zen samba sound which she applied to a wide ranging repertoire." » read full review
» Alberto Brooks photos @ albanyjazz.com
Gretchen Parlato — #3 Female Vocalist !!
Downbeat Magazine Readers Poll - Dec 2011 issue.
Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz celebrates 25 years of keeping jazz vibrant
By Matt Schudel, Washington Post, Sep 8, 2011
For two years, singer Gretchen Parlato studied with jazz masters and toured the world as part of the Monk Institute’s intensive college-level program, based in Los Angeles. Parlato was the first singer and only the second woman chosen for the all-expenses-paid program. “It’s a life-changing thing and a unique experience,” says Parlato. “You end up tapping into yourself and doing a lot of soul-searching.” ...read article
Artist's Choice: Gretchen Parlato on Herbie Hancock
Today’s top jazz performers pick 10 favorite tracks by the players, singers and styles that helped define them.
By Gretchen Parlato, JazzTimes Magazine, Aug 30, 2011
Choosing 10 Herbie Hancock songs that truly represent his full spectrum of genius is close to impossible. So I decided to focus on tracks that are funk- and groove-based, innovative when they were first heard, and clearly inspire the sound, texture and production of today’s music. These are all tracks that hit me in my soul. Here we go... » gp's favorite Herbie tracks @ JazzTimes » download PDF article
Gretchen Parlato: A Maven of Tone, Timbre and Texture
A listening session with the acclaimed singer
by Larry Appelbaum, JazzTimes, Aug 18, 2011
"Since winning the 2004 Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocal Competition, California-raised, New York-based Gretchen Parlato has become a favorite of critics, fans and fellow musicians. The 35-year-old sings standards, but not from the dog-eared pages of the Great American Songbook. With a musician’s sensibility, she carves out idiosyncratic arrangements of jazz instrumentals and Brazilian sambas, as well as pop and R&B gems from the ’80s and ’90s. She’s also starting to write more, and her song stories are as distinctive as her phrasing. It seems everyone wants to work with Parlato these days, and she’s already appeared on more than 50 recordings, including projects with Lionel Loueke, Kenny Barron, Terence Blanchard, Becca Stevens and Esperanza Spalding. Parlato’s latest recording as a leader is The Lost and Found (ObliqSound).” » read interview @ JazzTimes » download PDF
Gretchen Parlato — Rising Star Female Vocalist WINNER !!
Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll - August 2011 issue.
» critics poll winners
Gretchen Parlato - The Lost and Found
by Mark E Hayes, Passing Notes, July 25, 2011
"...there's so much music on The Lost and Found – some of it straightforward, smart, radio-friendly, and some of it rich, manifold, formidable – that it's a challenge to take it all in. But what Gretchen Parlato does again and again on this release – more so now as a writer and producer -- is to keep the texture of the music and the sound of the band unified. She does this, first at foremost, of course, with her remarkable voice. But with The Lost and Found, one can hear Parlato's musical intelligence and imagination fully in residence. This is a jazz musician who has found herself." » more
Gretchen Parlato: Quiet Revolutionary
By Ian Patterson, All About Jazz, June 27, 2011
"Parlato is undoubtedly one of the most exciting talents to emerge in this incredible generation—this movement, of young talent which is defining and shaping modern jazz. Respectful of tradition, yet equally inspired by her contemporaries, Parlato is expanding the standards repertoire and pushing the expectations of what a jazz vocalist can do. She is, in her own way, a quiet revolutionary" » more
Best of the cool: New jazz releases range from roots masters to a sure and subtle vocalist
by Greg Thomas, NY Daily News, June 26 2011
"Listening to vocalist Gretchen Parlato is like standing on a clear blue-water beach, with warm water splashing gently over your feet as you scan the horizon. She breathes nuance; a velvet texture informs her interpretations of songs on her third recording, which has been in or near the top 10 of best-charting jazz albums in Billboard since its recent release." » more
Gretchen Parlato: The Lost and Found - 4 stars
By Mike Hobart, Financial Times, June 25, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato approaches her self-penned lyrics with the same oblique logic as her main inspiration, saxophonist Wayne 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
NPR Music's 25 Favorite Albums of 2011 (so far) Gretchen Parlato, 'The Lost and Found'
Patrick Jarenwattananon, NPR, Jun 14, 2011
"The most interesting thing about The Lost and Found, Parlato's third and best album so far, is that she plays well with others — that she can marshal this original sound within a real band. It's catchy, tuneful stuff that vibrates with the pulse of modern music — by which I mostly mean the strains of R&B into which hip-hop has dug deep roots — while retaining the real-time interaction and harmolodic richness of jazz, circa 2011.” » more
Spirit Magazine, Southwest Airlines
JAZZ | Gretchen Parlato
"Parlato explores a song's nooks and crannies with a lithe, dreamy touch. Her new CD, The Lost and Found, is full of surprises: rhythmically tricky original compositions and luminous interpretations. REMINDS US OF:” Astrud Gilberto filtered through the urbane sensibilities of a self-admitted "former Valley Girl." » more (pdf)
Gretchen Parlato - The Lost and Found
Paul Weiderman, Santa Fe New Mexican
"The Lost and Found often has an ethereal quality, but the delicate vocals are anchored by her weighty improvisations. This is magical stuff.” » read article (pdf)
Trying to Find a Balance
by Gretchen Parlato, JAY Z Life + Times, Jun 7, 2011
"For jazz singer Gretchen Parlato, being able to sync her mind and body is the key to achieving her sound. “My voice is my instrument,” she says. “My body is my instrument. It is all related and connected. I believe that we hold emotions physically in areas of our bodies, so we need to open up these areas, these channels, so that all can pass and move through us. Singing is an exhale. Singing is a release. Singing is breath. Singing is a balance.” » hear "Still" to gp's 7 favorite yoga positions
The 25 essential New York City jazz icons
TimeOut, New York
"18. Gretchen Parlato made leading figures like Wayne Shorter, Terence Blanchard & Kenny Barron into enthusiastic fans... has overturned clichés to make jazz singing cool again." » more
Gretchen Parlato: Norwich, UK, May 20, 2011
Bruce Lindsay, All About Jazz, June 3, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato has achieved something that is increasingly difficult in contemporary jazz, where originality and innovation seem too often to be viewed as barriers to a vocalist's success, rather than qualities to be praised and nurtured. She has merged her distinctive vocal style with an intriguing selection of material to create a sound that is unique and utterly compelling.” » more
Gretchen Parlato's 'The Lost And Found' Features Wide Range of Jazz Influences
Doug Levine, Voice of America, June 1, 2011
"We all know what winning an American Idol competition can do for a singer’s career. Even a Top 10 showing can keep a performer working for years. Winning one of the world’s most prestigious jazz competitions can also prove a worthwhile endeavor. ” » more
Jazz Bag: The Latest From Gretchen Palato
Bill Carbone, New Haven Advocate, May 25, 201
"The record is so conceptually tight that disparate styles ooze effortlessly into one another... On Wayne Shorter’s “Juju” Parlato’s lyrics impart a tale in tandem with a rendering of the melody as fluid and clear as any saxophonist could muster, and the song is further marked by a stunning improvisation in which the sax of guest musician Dayna Stephen and Parlato’s wordless-but-not-scat vocals soar over a rhythm section thunderstorm. ” » more
The Lost and Found
Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes, May 21, 2011
"She can sound like morning rain, twilight fog, crashing waves or swirling snowflakes. But tranquil or stormy, dreamy or restive, eider-soft or hard as sleet, Gretchen Parlato remains the freshest and purest of contemporary vocalists.” » more
Gretchen Parlato - The Lost and Found
Robin Margolis, Audiophile Audition, May 16, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato, widely hailed as rising star, continues to actively propel jazz toward fresh further possibilities. Lost and Found, marks another important step in this evolution. It also displays her cohort of contemporaries equally committed to enlivening the tradition through innovation and the renewal of its relevance to wide audiences.” » more
Gretchen Parlato: A Stunning New Voice
Tom Schnabel, Rhythm Planet, May 2, 2011
"Gretchen’s new album is her strongest yet. She uses her training and discipline to tackle pop songs and original material, and brings the finesse of a jazz musician to whatever she sings. She deserves to be known by your ears and your heart. ” » more
NPR Weekend Edition Sunday
Gretchen Parlato: Stay in the Moment
NPR staff, May 1, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato has been called the most important jazz singer since Cassandra Wilson, and her delicate vocals won over the judges at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2004. Since then, Parlato has appeared on more than 50 recordings, and continues to build a following with tours throughout the U.S. and overseas. Her third album, The Lost and Found, was recently released." » hear it now
75 years ago, nobody sang like Billie Holiday;
today, nobody sings like Gretchen Parlato.
Wilbert Sostre, All About Jazz, April 29, 2011
"Despite being completely different singers, there's a lot to connect Gretchen Parlato with the legendary Billie Holiday... what draws them together is the uniqueness of their respective styles... the originality and pure feeling of their voices is what has set them apart from any other jazz singer." » more
Gretchen Parlato & Conrad Herwig
On NPR JazzSet
"At the Newport Jazz Festival, we're visiting the Quad and Harbor Stages, where the first rows of audience sit snug up to the performer. With her understated style, love of the lyric and freedom, vocalist Gretchen Parlato makes that closeness work. Everyone leans in and listens." » hear it now
Culture Watch: Gretchen Parlato's
'The Lost and Found' CD
Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times, Apr 27, 2011
"With a similar knack for deftly incorporating funk and breezy Latin textures into her songs, it's easy to draw a dotted line from this young vocalist to recent Grammy favorite Esperanza Spalding..." » more
"With her gentle, soulful, resonant tone and unique blend of jazz, urban and Brazilian elements, Gretchen Parlato has a sound and vibe all her own. This project makes yet another case for Parlato being one of the most creative and outstanding vocalists of the modern jazz era."
» more @ The Jazz Page
JAZZIZ FEATURE INTERVIEW
A Voice All Her Own
Singer Gretchen Parlato sweeps aside her fears
on The Lost and Found
Interview with Kara Manning, Jazziz Magazine
Spring Edition, 2011
"The theme just kept unraveling of the lost and found... light and dark, good and bad. It's always a cycle. Just when you think you've figured it all out, something happens that knocks us off balance."
In depth interview includes the process of working with Robert Glasper, the Monk Institute, also interviews with Glasper, Esperanza Spalding, Tierney Sutton.
» read article (PDF)
Jazz in her heart
"While growing up in Los Angeles during the '80s, Gretchen Parlato was a "Valley Girl" who came of age weaned on new wave and pop. But she was also exposed to jazz and other forms of music. "I always had an appreciation for jazz," she said. "I heard all kinds of music. There was classical and, well, everything." » more @ Wichita Eagle
Photos — Gretchen Parlato
digs deep at the Caverns
by Jati Lindsay and Giovanni Russonello, Apr 20, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato is one of the most closely watched and creative contemporary musicians making their mark on the national and international jazz scenes. At times, Parlato can seem to be singing simply in the language of the human body, pointedly rhythmic but weightlessly melodic in a way that evokes the heart beating, or blood flowing. ” » more at CapitalBop
Gretchen Parlato: Master Of Restraint
NPR, All Things Considered
Apr 19, 2011, 7pm et
"The Lost and Found sparkles from beginning to end, but one track, "Still," stands out. It's easy to be cynical about love songs, especially ones from jazz divas. This one stopped me in my tracks. It feels as though Parlato, who wrote the words to music by bassist Alan Hampton, is sharing a private meditation at 11 beats per measure, about being true to the ideal of love no matter what happens." » hear it @ npr » listen to full show: All Things Considered
Gretchen Parlato: “The Lost and Found”
(2011, Obliq Sound)
Andrea Canter, JazzPolice, Apr 19, 2011
"When I think of Parlato... I hear Miles Davis...
if modern jazz singing is all about using the voice as an instrument, Parlato has put her instrument front and center... she has quickly evolved a sound based largely on nuance and subtlety, appealing as much to Brazilian, R&B and pop audiences as to modern jazz listeners. On her third release, she offers an eclectic soundscape of 15 songs, four of her own compositions, 6 more with her own lyrics. Gretchen Parlato’s success may lie as much in her poetry as in her vocal stylings. The Lost and Found highlights both talents.” » more
Last Weekend in DC… delights of the garden
OpenSkyJazz, Apr 19, 2011
"Parlato’s understated approach and soft-textured voice really reached the packed, multi-kulti audience, starting from the second selection reprising her clever arrangement and treatment of Herbie Hancock‘s “Butterfly.” Parlato is also blessed with a certain Brazilian sensibility in her artistry.” » more
Gretchen Parlato "The Lost and Found"
Andrew Lienhard, Jazz Houston, Apr 07, 2011
All About Jazz, Apr 19, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato's The Lost and Found, the Monk Competition winner's much anticipated third release, secures her position as the leading vocalist in New York's under-40 jazz scene. On this 15-track program, Parlato and producer Robert Glasper blend musical styles like so many cocktails. They purposefully demonstrate that Hip-Hop has a quiet side, that you needn't be from Brazil to play its music, and that a mere whisper can incite goose bumps.” » more
Review of Gretchen Parlato's " Lost and Found"
Ralph A. Miriello, Apr 17, 2011
"Ms. Parlato dispels all questions that she may be a one trick pony. She affirms her truly unique musical vision and further validates her status as a genuine breakthrough talent. Her music is vital and contemporary. Whether she is singing a pop song like Mick Hucknall’s “Holding Back the Years”, complete with co-producer Robert Glasper’s injection of a hip hop influence in the beat, or she is tackling an eerie rendition of Wayne Shorter’s “Ju Ju”, Ms. Parlato brings her own subtle sense of musicality, exquisite timing and unerring pitch to the proceedings.” » more
Album reviews: Gretchen Parlato,
Frontier Justice, Paul Simon and more ...
Peter Hum, The Vancouver Sun
April 15, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato is winning over listeners with a much more understated, intimate sound since she won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition in 2004. Instantly recognizable thanks to her pure, cool timbre and susurrant quality of her voice. The Lost and Found is an impressive collection of 15 tracks that delve expertly and with much feeling into Parlato’s interests... shows Parlato’s artistry is much more than her signature, sighing sound." » more
“It’s More Than a Whisper”:
A Conversation With Gretchen Parlato
Michael J. West, Washington City Paper
Apr 15, 2011
"Parlato is one of the most acclaimed and closely watched singers in jazz, and her star is still rising. Parlato talked to Washington City Paper about songwriting, playing with Terence Blanchard alums, and developing her unique sound.”
» read interview
Young Blood - Old Guard
Michael J. West, Washington City Paper
Apr. 14, 2011
"it's indisputable that she sounds like no one else working in jazz today. Parlato is, in fact, arguably the emblematic jazz vocalist of her generation, and perhaps the most visionary to come along in a generation” » more
Gretchen Parlato thrilled to present wide-ranging new album
Brad Linde, Capitolbop
"Internationally acclaimed vocalist Gretchen Parlato... a flexible and intimate stylist, has continued to cast her spell on audiences through worldwide tours, television appearances and performances on over 50 albums. Parlato strives to pour her soul into every song, making it thoughtful and giving it purpose. 'I want to sing the songs in my own, honest voice – tell my own story,' she said." » more
DCist, April 12, 2011
"The main theme is a reflection of the title," Parlato said of the recording. "Most of us experience all kinds of highs and lows and we all have to realize that this is normal. It's all about creating light and dark moods with sound and space."
» read interview
Gretchen Parlato’s The Lost and Found
The Revivalist, Apr 11, 2011
"Miles Davis once famously said, “It’s not the notes you play; it’s the notes you don’t play. Gretchen Parlato seems an undeniable descendant of this school of thought.”
"Now I see why people have been talking about Gretchen Parlato. Music this good doesn't come every day. It's a really strong album. You can bet I'll be playing it on every show."
— Tom Schnabel, KCRW
Parlato keeps it cool—
Rising jazz star tops iTunes chart
with modern, intimate sound
Peter Hum, The Ottawa Citizen
April 9, 2011
"With many of the jazz singers who have risen to the top over the last 15 years, there is arguably a simple, shorthand way to describe what makes them distinctive and appealing. It's not as easy as it might seem to peg Parlato… The Lost and Found shows that Parlato's artistry is much more than her signature, sighing sound -she can be absolutely entrancing in so many different ways. Parlato's ability to wield her voice as an instrument, improvising all the while, will address any jazz purist's skepticism about her bona fides.”
» more @ Ottawa Citizen
» "The Jazz Whisperer Review" @ Peter Hum Blog, Ottawa Citizen
Nick's Picks: The Lost and Found ****
Nick Bewsey, Icon Magazine, April 2011
"Gorgeous... It's getting harder to label Gretchen Parlato as a jazz singer and that's probably by design. She's among a new breed of singer/songwriters like Esperanza Spalding whose foundation of jazz and improvisational technique is also fertilized with pop, soul and hip-hop."
Gretchen Parlato "The Lost and Found"
Andrew Lienhard, Jazz Houston, Apr 07, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato's The Lost and Found, the Monk Competition winner's much anticipated third release, secures her position as the leading vocalist in New York's under-40 jazz scene. On this 15-track program, Parlato and producer Robert Glasper blend musical styles like so many cocktails. They purposefully demonstrate that Hip-Hop has a quiet side, that you needn't be from Brazil to play its music, and that a mere whisper can incite goose bumps.”
The Lost and Found
John Vincent Barron, JazzReview.com, Apr 5, 2011
"Acclaimed vocalist Gretchen Parlato presents an ambitious follow-up to 2009's In a Dream with The Lost and Found... Parlato is on her way to becoming a mainstay in the field of jazz vocalists.” » more
A Jazz Singer for the New Millennium
Gretchen Parlato's understated way with song — 5 stars
By David Weiss, April 4, 2011
"Ms. Parlato's ears are not limited to the dusty gems of the Great American Songbook. On this collection, she brings new life to Simply Red's Holding Back the Years, courtesy of pianist/associate producer Robert Glasper's cool, hip-hoppish beat and her own sensual, breathy timbre; her lovely original composition, Winter Wind, takes some surprising melodic detours and on a version of Mary J. Blige's All That I Can Say, Parlato irons out the jagged beauty of the original and makes it her very own." » more
Gretchen Parlato Goes From Lost to Found
Interview with Bridget Arnwine, DC Jazz Music Examiner
April 5, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato understands the value of making connections. As a singer/songwriter, success depends on her ability to establish a connection with her audience. But even before that, Parlato knows that a connection to the audience is rooted in her ability to first connect with the music. Today, the singer who has fielded invitations to appear on more than fifty recordings will release her third album as a leader, The Lost and Found (ObliqSound). Based on themes of accepting oppositions that show up in our lives and in our relationships- lost vs. found, happy vs. sad, bad vs. good, dark vs. light- The Lost and Found showcases Parlato at her most vulnerable and, conversely, at her most free.” » more
Look Back at a Legend, Then Revisit Disco
By Nate Chinen, NY Times, April 1, 2011
"The new breed of jazz singer is a chameleon, intuitive and watchful, preoccupied with mood and flow. transfixing... she fashions a mellow, drifting sound informed by Brazil and Wayne Shorter and organic R&B.” » more
Gretchen Parlato Finds 'Peace of Mind'
as a New Breed of Jazz Diva
by Tad Hendrickson, Mar 31, 2011
"Parlato has always looked beyond jazz's established parameters for inspiration. Speaking about music, she talks about projecting moods, feelings or emotions through her songs and lyrics. That's clear even after a cursory listen of her albums, and it's these big-picture ideas that also reflect a deeper more self-assured approach for Parlato." » more @ spinner.com
by Jon Garelick, March 30, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato has been a jazz singer to watch ever since she won the 2004 Thelonious Monk Institute International Vocal Competition. ...pushing the songs rhythmically, she infuses them with a power that's alternately incantatory and meditative. And on her setting of Shorter's "JuJu," she not only holds her own as a "horn" against Stephens's tenor but builds a towering improvisation.” » more @ the phoenix
NPR—First Listen: Gretchen Parlato
'The Lost And Found'
by Patrick Jarenwattananon
Mar 28, 2011
"Soft and insistent, breathy and sometimes wordless, she doesn't have the voice of Ella, or Sarah, or Betty. But she doesn't need it; on her third album, she's got plenty of that slippery, you-know-it-when-you-hear-it quality often abbreviated "musicality." ...more @ npr
The Lost and Found
Gretchen Parlato | ObliqSound (2011)
By Michael Bailey, All About Jazz
February 26, 2011
"Gretchen Parlato is emerging as the most important jazz singer since Cassandra Wilson. Her vocal approach is so unique and her repertoire so eclectic that she stands to create a jazz vocal genre unto herself."
» read review @ All About Jazz
» pre-order it @ Amazon
Gretchen Parlato - The Lost and Found - 4/4
by D. Oscar Groomes, O's Place Jazz Magazine
"Parlato has a unique vocal style with a gentle approach to the music that works well with her soft, airy tones. This is her third release as a leader and she continues along the lines of past success but leaning more towards R&B covers on "Holding Back The Years" and "Circling". Those who prefer more straight ahead jazz will enjoy her vocalese on "Juju", "Me and You" and especially "Blue in Green". We were drawn in by the seductive mood of "Better Than" with a fine piano solo by Taylor Eigsti. Parlato is never too much, always just enough!" » O's Place Jazz Magazine
The Next Generation of Jazz
Aaron Parks interviewed by Matt Kassel
"with Gretchen it’s easy, you can play anything really, and she’s going to be there and deal with it and figure out a way to sing something herself that makes everything sound good …she’s really an improvising musician... and is as ready to get up into complete uncertainty... it’s rare... it’s one of the things that makes her, in a way, one of the most important musicians right now." » read interview
Nine Women In The Room: A Jazz Musicians’ Roundtable
The Record - Music News from NPR
Over the summer, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington brought together some pretty high-profile musicians from all over the world to record The Mosaic Project. After a full day of recording, eight of the musicians sat down with Lara Pellegrinelli for a conversation on the topic of women in jazz: Terri Lyne Carrington, Geri Allen, Helen Sung, Esperanza Spalding, Ingrid Jensen, Tineke Postma, Nona Hendryx, and Gretchen Parlato. They shared some of their own experiences and discussed the media, the music business, audience, mentors, and role models. ...more
Esperanza Spalding Chamber Music Society Tour
"The greats need to play with other greats, to humble, challenge, and inspire each other.
Think Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith,
Count Basie and Lester Young, Bird and Diz,
Miles and Coltrane.
...putting the breathtaking vocalist Gretchen Parlato and enfant terrible bassist Esperanza Spalding onstage together is certainly a spectacle unto itself. The two would top any list of rising jazz stars under 35..."
» Washington City Paper
"With the incredible Gretchen Parlato on their rendition of Jobim's "Inútil Paisagem" it was arguably the most magical piece of the evening."
» Opening Ceremony
"a hushed rendering of Jobim’s “Inutil Paisagem” was pure enchantment—thanks in part to guest vocalist Gretchen Parlato"
» Washington Post
Monterey Jazz Festival
"The captivating and deeply musical young vocalist bedazzled, as expected. Her luminous version of Herbie Hancock’s “Butterfly,” for one, was an apex moment of the weekend." » JazzTimes
"And as for sex symbols, Shorty wasn’t the only one. Singer Gretchen Parlato took the stage to a packed house. She was slated to perform at 7:30, but folks were queuing up as early as 6. By 7, the young vocalist had a line around the block. It was well worth the wait." » East Bay Express
"This young singer's music is like a sun shower that intensifies, ebbs, revives and flies at the listener, iridescent as a butterfly. And what a band..." » Mercury News
"buzz about her has been steadily building... Saturday night, jazz fans poured into the Nightclub room to find out what all the buzz was about." » blogmonterey.com
"Vocalist Gretchen Parlato is part Bobby McFerrin, part Theo Bleckmann, and David Binney."
Track review of "Azure"
by Michael Bailey, All About Jazz
"All men, yes. Parlato's voice is light as an apparition, ethereal and implied... In A Dream is the recording Chet Baker would have made, had he been a woman. "
» read article at All About Jazz
San Jose Jazz Festival features music for the multitudes
By Richard Scheinin, San Jose Mercury News, 8/14/2010
"the young singer Gretchen Parlato was floating her music: weightless, iridescent, kind of perfect... her album "In a Dream" -- the title sums up her sensibility..."» more
Our Picks for the Festival:
Gretchen Parlato —
"In a Dream" (Obliqsound) received rapturous reviews, and the title aptly captures her music's sustained mood of ethereal introspection. Possessing an enticingly crystalline voice and a ravishing concept deeply informed by samba ballads and bossa nova, Parlato is among the very best of a rising generation of jazz singers, an artist who has taken her own sweet time forging a highly personal sound unlike any of her peers. » more
Newport Jazz Festival: A study in contrasts
by Steve Greenlee, Boston Globe, August 8, 2010
"Gretchen Parlato gives goosebumps... her gorgeous voice behaved more like an instrument – a soprano sax here, a cello there – than something belonging to a singer. The evidence is piling up that young Ms. Parlato is the most original jazz singer in a generation. » read article
Sunday At Newport Jazz 2010
by Patrick Jarenwattananon and Alex W. Rodriguez
NPR Jazz- A Blog Supreme, Aug 9, 2010
"she really put on a show for the Quad Stage crowd in the afternoon. Her music is just so well-constructed, relaxed and musical — a perfect fit... she took advantage of the opportunity to connect with her audience." » read article
Gretchen Parlato in Concert - Newport Jazz:
NPR - WGBH, August 7, 2010
"...hip young New York musicians are happy to play with Parlato —
she's as much a musician as they are." » hear performance
Newport Jazz Festival
Timothy J. O'Keefe, All About Jazz, August 18, 2010
"The first notes that rang out on Alan Hampton's bass, "Within Me," captivated an audience that spread well beyond the tent's seating capacity. Driven by Kendrick Scott's shuffling drum work, and accompanied by Gerald Clayton's emotional piano playing, Parlato's voice sliced through the air—a combination of vocal storytelling and melodic phrasings." » read article
CareFusion Newport Jazz Festival
A golden weekend for weather – and jazz in every form
Ken Franckling, JazzTimes, Aug 9, 2010
"Gretchen Parlato’s whispery vocals felt like a mint julep inside the Quad Stage tent as the sun beat down on the open main stage crowd." » read article
GP nominated for Female Singer of the Year
by the Jazz Journalists Association!
Howard Mandel, president of the JJA: "The finalists for 2010 Jazz Awards reflect the depth of talent and breadth of styles that jazz encompasses today. Highly creative octogenarians... are celebrated alongside new-generation musicians..."
» more info & full list @JazzTimes
Recommended Listening with Damian Erskine:
Gretchen Parlato - In a Dream
Bass Musician Magazine
"It’s going to be hard to express to you just how blown away by this album I am. Gretchen displays amazing and equal amounts of grace, phrasing, time feel, control and diction when she sings but, beyond that.. we finally have a jazz vocalist who gives us current and hip music to groove to..." » more
The Clubs Next Door
By George Wein, JazzTimes
"a slim, quite beautiful young lady...It wasn’t long before her performance captured the audience. I was sitting with Tim Jackson, producer of the Monterey Jazz Festival. Both Tim and I liked Gretchen Parlato. (I think he has asked her to appear in Monterey this year.) I asked Gretchen to perform in June on the CareFusion Jazz Festival in New York at Symphony Space."» more
#1: Best Vocal Jazz Album of the Year!
2009 Voice Jazz Critics' Poll
The Village Voice, December 29, 2009
#4: The Top 10 Jazz Albums of 2009
Michael J. West, Washington City Paper
Dec. 24, 2009
In a Dream: "a breakthrough project by a gifted, young singer..."
"with emotional depth, subtlety, and the kind of precise technical craft where even the breathing sounds matter.” » read article
#6: Steve Greenlee's top jazz albums for 2009
Globe critics name their top 10 list
Steve Greenlee, The Boston Globe
December 20, 2009
Gretchen Parlato - In a Dream: "Whispering and breathing where other singers belt... Parlato nearly creates her own subgenre of jazz vocals." » read article
#8: Critics Picks: Top 50 New Albums
JazzTimes, Jan/Feb 2010
» read article
#9: NPR's Best Music of 2009
The Year of Living Improvisationally
by Josh Jackson
"Intimacy and shared sense of purpose yields stellar results on In a Dream, especially the duets with guitarist Lionel Loueke. Parlato has a commanding vocal control and rhythmic dexterity that's dynamic, even when she's breathy and gossamer." » NPR.org
#10: NPR's Best Music of 2009:
The Year In Jazz, From WDUQ
by Shaunna Morrison Machosky
"We can look forward to a bright future for this up-and-coming singer. It's refreshing to hear a contemporary voice that doesn't just take on the same old standards." &» NPR.org
In a Dream #4 - Top 10 Killer Covers
Jazz Times, December 2009
» see top 10
Gretchen Parlato - In a Dream
by Dan Ouellette
Aug 22, 2009
"With her second release, "In a Dream," Parlato's time has arrived. So far, the set is the most alluring jazz vocal album of 2009.
With an impressive band that includes longtime cohort Lionel Loueke on guitar and wordless vocal, Parlato sings with quiet, relentless and oftentimes unpredictable rhythmic grace. She's playfully rapturous on Stevie Wonder's "I Can't Help It," a samba-esque duet with Loueke; joyfully spirited during an a cappella take on the Brazilian tune "Doralice"; and dreamily sensuous whispering over a clipping drum beat on "Within Me."
» Billboard pdf
Gretchen Parlato - In A Dream
By Don Heckman, IROM
August 26, 2009
for Best Jazz Vocal Album..."
"There’s an enigmatic quality to Gretchen Parlato’s singing, a mysterious brew of sound and breath, of simmering inner rhythms and phrasing that curls seductively around the words. The first track, Stevie Wonder’s “I Can’t Help It,” immediately announces that the album is going be an extraordinary musical experience.
Parlato has been blessed with extraordinary talents — an unerring sense of pitch, utterly relaxed rhythmic clarity, an open ear for harmony. Other singers have similar abilities. But what makes Parlato so unique is the imaginative way in which she uses those skills to rove deeply within the instrumental sounds, while still retaining her presence as the vocal center of the music."
In a Dream (Obliqsound)
She has a degree in ethnomusicology from UCLA, was the first vocalist allowed entrée into the esteemed Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, won the Monk Competition in 2004 and has studied privately with Tierney Sutton. In other words, transplanted Californian Gretchen Parlato (now based in New York) is well prepared to take the jazz world by storm. But rather than do so with thunder and lightning, she has opted for whispered mistiness.
Her voice is a rare instrument, endowed with a seductively warm, ethereal quality yet sturdy as sequoia. Her jazz instincts are keenly intuitive, her phrasing (for which she credits Sutton) immaculate. Following in the delicate footsteps of her 2005 eponymous debut, Parlato's In a Dream seems wholly crafted of sweet reveries. She has found an ideal mate for this spirited journey in guitarist and supporting vocalist Lionel Loueke, who considers Parlato his musical "twin sister." Whether meandering through a gauzy reading of Stevie Wonder's "I Can't Help It," savoring the sweet shimmer of Dorival Caymmi's "Doralice," reshaping the smooth R&B funk of SWV's chart-topping "Weak" into four minutes of melting submission, or painting vibrant tone poems atop Wayne Shorter's "E.S.P.," Parlato remains utterly, unfailingly mesmerizing.
TimeOut New York, Steve Smith
Jazz has always had its share of early bloomers, but Gretchen Parlato shows up everyone on her new disc, In a Dream, which includes playful, rhythmically confident snippets of the singer recorded at the precocious age of two. You may not sense a jazz-diva-in-the-making in those faded tracks, but they might just explain why Parlato, winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition in 2004, sounds like such a seasoned professional at just-past 30.
From early on, Parlato held her own alongside masters like Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock; In a Dream, her second album and first for the ObliqSound label, proves that she’s also a superb bandleader, more intent on mixing it up with her collaborators than simply soaring over them. Parlato’s airy sound and flexible timing serve her well throughout this instantly engaging collection of offbeat standards and seductive originals; her rhythmic forays with Beninese singer-guitarist Lionel Loueke are an ear-tickling delight.
Jazz singer Parlato mesmerizes with dream-like voice
By Steve Greenlee, Boston Globe
October 16, 2009
Her show Thursday night at the Regattabar was utterly captivating... stunning from the outset. Wearing a tight black dress, hoop earrings, and a new wave hairdo, Parlato gently clapped her hands while uttering quiet noises, her lips slightly pursed. The band joined in, and gradually the sounds gathered and transformed themselves into an airy, vaguely Brazilian rendition of Herbie Hancock's "Butterfly." As she sang, she retreated into the lyrics, singing from the back of her throat, sucking in the words rather than spilling them forth. She sounded more horn than human.
Here's how spellbinding her set was: When she finished a heartbreakingly gorgeous reworking of Monk's "Ugly Beauty" (with lyrics), the crowd sat in transfixed silence for a good eight or nine seconds before applauding. For a singer, there is no higher praise."
This Jazzwoman speaks softly,
but she carries a big repertoire
By Siddhartha Mitter, Boston Globe
October 11, 2009
in song is not, in fact, a big voice at all."
"It’s the voice of Gretchen Parlato, who has taken an antiheroine’s route to prominence as a jazz singer, breaking with the conventional character traits. Rather than belt or blare, Parlato’s sound is light and contained, nearly conversational. In lieu of frills and pyrotechnics, she uses nuance and a great harmonic subtlety.."
Gretchen's Parlato's In a Dream
By Michael J. West, Washington City Paper
September 9, 2009
"her near-whispers—a sort of seduction through vulnerability—but a more careful listen reveals her extraordinary confidence — audible gasps are devices for suspense and rhythm... reveal Parlato’s mastery of rhythm — emotional depth, subtlety, and the kind of precise technical craft where even the breathing sounds matter.
Loueke’s powerful chemistry with Parlato may indeed be the jazz world’s newest great partnership in the Billie Holiday–Lester Young tradition."
A BLOG SUPREME / NPR JAZZ
Jazz Now: Patrick Jarenwattananon, Editor
5 Top CD Picks
by Patrick Jarenwattananon
September 15, 2009
she knows how to sculpt an arrangement.
For us jazz insider types, it's looking like her time has finally come; the jazz neophyte may wonder why it hasn't arrived earlier."
Gretchen Parlato whispers to you "In A Dream"
by Ralph A. Miriello
Oct 27, 2009
Who ever said jazz had to be drab?
Fifteen fashion-forward jazz musicians who rock the stage in decidedly 21st-century mode.
"This pint-sized breakout jazz singer of the year shows that you can grace a nightclub stage without getting all stodgy ballroom gown with it." » the root
The Best New Music of the Month
Gretchen Parlato: In a Dream
by Ted Gioia, Jazz.com
Aug 31, 2009
"The Gretchen Parlato CD is creating quite a buzz, and deservedly so. This is one of my favorite jazz vocal albums of the year."
CD REVIEW: "In a Dream"
By Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide
Aug 17, 2009
"Her singing is pure sterling silver... Gretchen Parlato is going to be a major player on the contemporary vocal music scene, jazz or not."
Gretchen Parlato, In a Dream
- 4 STARS
In Tune, The Daily News
Aug 27, 2009
"...a perfect showcase for Parlato, from the Latin-tinged take on Stevie Wonder's "I Can't Help It" to the remarkable vocal rendering of Herbie Hancock's "Butterfly" to the Brazilian gem "Doralice," plus pitch-perfect renditions of Wayne Shorter's "ESP" and Duke Ellington's "Azure."
Gretchen Parlato, In a Dream
by Andrea Canter, jazzpolice.com
Sep 1, 2009
"a special outing. Parlato uses her voice with both great restraint and relaxed spontaneity, creating an ambient, sometimes whispering quality as if gently telling a bedtime story that nevertheless is filled with animation and sound effects."
Gretchen Parlato: Butterfly
by Ted Gioia, Jazz.com
Aug 25, 2009
"This track, and the entire recording, are built on what
the music industry always promises but rarely delivers:
a singer with a breathtakingly fresh approach and a daring personal style
that stands out from the crowd. Simply stunning.
This is one of the most under-produced, intimate jazz vocal recordings you will ever hear. Parlato blossoms in the quiescence, delivering a pristine performance that refuses to follow the predictable path at any point. Her intonation is flawless, as it needs to be in this setting, where there is no place for a singer to hide."
NPR SONG OF THE DAY
Gretchen Parlato: Jazz From Soul
By John Murph
July 20, 2009
"glowing makeover of SWV's 1992 hit Weak... Parlato's feather-light voice aptly captures the essence of the song's themes of romantic anxiety and anticipation, yet she also conveys a level of maturity in her sensual but no-frills delivery."
Handling Sneaky Rhythms
as Singer or Bandleader
Music Review | Gretchen Parlato
By BEN RATLIFF, New York Times
June 7, 2009
"always some warm egolessness in her performances... airy tone, accurate pitch, impassioned and subtle projection, her singing sailed over [the band], an example of benign control. ...music fairly intense in its complicated rhythm.
...naturally restrained and controlled, more Ella Fitzgerald than Sarah Vaughan but more Rosa Passos than either."
Parlato, Spalding truly on track
to become legends
By Elaine Schmidt
Special to the Journal Sentinel
Feb. 17, 2008
Lots of young musicians are hyped as "rising stars" by their publicity machinery, but few ever really reach the skies. ...it was clear that these two have the musical chops to become legends. Every sound Parlato makes is part of the musical fabric...
Gretchen Parlato - Gretchen Parlato
(Gretchen Parlato Music)
Mel Minter, alibi.com
Jan 2, 2008
You can’t swing a dented saxophone without hitting a female jazz singer these days. Most have something to offer, but only a handful bring the complete package to the table, as does Gretchen Parlato on her first CD. Superb vocal control and uncanny musicality allow her to dive to the bottom of a song without rippling its surface. Backed by an empathetic combo throughout, she opens with a stunningly ingenuous rendition of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Skylark” over a Latin rhythm and continues to captivate with tunes by Djavan, Björk, Loueke, Jobim and Shorter. Find it on CDBaby.com and iTunes. (MM)
Richard Bona, Downbeat
"Beautiful voice. The pitch,
everything is perfect...
She sings beautifully...
David French, Downbeat
"Her relaxed style meshes perfectly with Loueke's rolling rhythms and lulling melodies. Their performances are some of the highlights on Virgin Forest. In March at the Zinc Bar in Greenwich Village, they presented a magical musical chemistry as they blended their voices and traded parts and ideas like smiles. They packed the club like the subway at rush hour, but the patrons were dead quiet, save for the duet's harmonizing, Parlato's caxixi and Loueke's guitar."
Lionel Loueke - Virgin Forest
by Michael G. Nastos, Allmusic
"the alluring singer's bossa-tinged, soaring, or bird-like sounds a perfect compliment for Loueke...pay attention to Parlato in the future; she is a special artist."
Morrie Louden - A Sideman Breaks Out
Phillip Booth, Bassplayer
"Louden leading first-call instrumentalists - including saxophonists Bob Sheppard and Seamus Blake, guitarist Lionel Loueke, drummer Adam Nussbaum, and sultry young singer Gretchen Parlato on one of the year's best-reviewed jazz CDs."
Gretchen Parlato -
Vocal-Instrumental Bridge Building
Ted Panken, Downbeat
"Her rhythms buoyant and percussive, her pitches precisely calibrated, her phrasing idiomatic and her spirit resolutely improvisitional."
Youth and creativity on display
Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times
Oct 7, 2006
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.
Vocals, bass collide
in powerful concert
Journal & Courier, by Tim Brouk
Oct 14, 2007
"Two of the brightest, young female talents in the jazz scene owe their musical prowess from the ultimate source -- their mothers.
When she was 13, Parlato, who would earn No. 3 on the Rising Star Female Vocalist list in the 2007 Downbeat Critics' Poll, was digging through her mother's old records before stumbling upon Stan Getz, Antonio Carlos Jobim and other bossa nova artists."
Parlato, Loueke enhanced their chops
at the Thelonious Monk Institute
by Andrew Gilbert, The San Diego Union Tribune
September 28, 2006
“Gretchen is like my twin sister musically,” Loueke said after a performance with his trio at the Monterey Jazz Festival earlier this month. “It's almost like we're reading each other's minds. At the Monk Institute, we were playing every day, so we definitely developed a cohesion.”
Lionel Loueke CD Release Party
with Gretchen Parlato at the Vic
LeRoy Downs aka "The Jazzcat"
Oct 11, 2006
"Gretchen Parlato's soft angelic vocal qualities, warm as Brazilian breezes, encompass the room and fill our souls with the lovely sound of soft kisses and caressed bodies... I find myself waiting to exhale after every song.... At the moment, the world outside our musical haven does not exist."
A.D. Amorosi, New York Press
Jan 9, 2005
"You could spruce up the compliments and say "voice like angel" and compare her to Sinatra in terms of dynamics and subtone, or Chet Baker in terms of cottony cool. You wouldn't be far off the mark. 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 from Caymmi and Jobim as well as classics by Parker, Gershwin and Bjork. 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."
NPR SONG OF THE DAY
A Rising Star Makes a Worldly Jam
by John Murph, NPR.org
June 1, 2006
"With so much emphasis on virtuosity in jazz, artists who pare their musical arsenals down to the soul-baring essentials usually prove the most alluring. Such is the case with singer Gretchen Parlato..."
Distinctive New Voices in Jazz
"Gretchen Parlato's impressive debut CD is sure to thrill jazz lovers. Parlato charts an original and beautiful course... she demonstrates a mastery of Brazilian music"
Singer Finds the Essence
Underneath The Words
Ben Ratliff, New York Times
December 7, 2004
"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."
REVIEW — GRETCHEN PARLATO
Shaun Brady, Philadelphia Citypaper.net
Jan 7, 2005
"...her breathy, Brasiliana-tinged vocals escape her throat in sinewy lines that trail off with a flute-like warble. Forgoing the brash, staccato bursts of hipster scat favored by most jazz singers, Parlato wields her voice like a post-bop instrumentalist, face scrunched into a grimace, fingers working the microphone like it was a trumpet, words barely formed dissolving into plaintive wails... her method is born at least as much from intellect as it is from passion."
gp & lionel loueke
performed with wayne shorter
joe's pub newsletter
january 13 . 2005
"Tonight we had a party celebrating the publishing of Michelle Mercer's rightfully acclaimed new biography of Wayne Shorter, Footprints. For the party, Michelle invited a favorite of Wayne's, rising star vocalist and Thelonious Monk prizewinner Gretchen Parlato to perform, and she did two songs accompanied by a brilliantly inventive guitarist I hadn't heard before, Lionel Loueke from Benin, who used a secret arsenal of sparse effects and loops. Their brief set was already killing when they invited Wayne himself to join them on soprano sax and went into a medley of some of Wayne's tunes. An amazing moment to treasure. And with an audience filled with luminaries - veteran and youngbloods - Herbie Hancock who took the redeye in to introduce the show, Ron Carter, Amiri Baraka, Wallace Roney, Claudia Acuna, Uri Caine, Anat Cohen, Avishai Cohen, Lea Delaria - you get the picture - inspiration was high."
Gretchen Parlato, David Devoe, Julie Hardy:
New Singers Showcase at the 55 Bar
Michael P. Gladstone, allaboutjazz.com
December 7, 2004
"Parlato's poise and stage presence
belied her age and experience level."
She does it her way
L.A. vocalist Gretchen Parlato's 'intimate' style of jazz wows the judges at the annual Monk competition.
Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times
October 1, 2004
"I really just want to make beautiful music — music that people will listen to and feel something," she says. "Because the music that touches me the most always creates some kind of a mood and a vibe. And that's what I'm looking for in my music too."
Trying for the Sound of Success
photo- Ronnie James
New York Times
September 15, 2004
Her talent was so deeply centered and concentrated... The set included a scat version of Charlie Parker's "Embraceable You" improvisations; an "I Fall in Love Too Easily" that suggested Chet Baker's dry-toned version but superimposed hints of a lavish, Donny Hathaway melisma; and a hard-swinging version of "Chega de Saudade," sung in excellent Portuguese.
On Monday, in the finals, a concert held at the Kennedy Center and filmed by BET, Ms. Parlato did it again. Relatively unmannered, with accurate pitch, she didn't copy older singers or overemote; she just calmly nailed a ballad and a medium-tempo piece with improvisations, interacting with the rhythm section at its own level.
It's Ladies Night at Monk Jazz Competition
Mike Joyce, Washington Post
September 15, 2004
"Parlato joins the ranks of pianist Marcus Roberts, saxophonist Joshua Redman and other well-known jazz artists whose recording careers were jump-started by a Monk competition win.
Parlato didn't have to wait long to reap an unexpected benefit: After listening to her charm the judges and the audience with a sultry rendition of "More Than You Know" and a lithe, scat-laced, tempo-shifting interpretation of "I've Never Been in Love Before," jazz great and Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz Billy Taylor invited her to perform at the venue next season."
at the Monk Competition
17th Thelonious Monk International
Jazz Vocals Competition
Larry Appelbaum, Jazz Times Magazine
September 14, 2004
Gretchen Parlato won first place in the 17th annual Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition finals on Monday night at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Parlato, a New York City-based singer... displayed near-perfect intonation, distinctive behind-the-beat phrasing, and creative, melismatic scat in her winning versions of “More Than You Know” and “I’ve Never Been in Love Before.”
Sophistication and Brazilian Rhythms
of Gretchen Parlato
Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times
August 29, 2000
"If you liked Astrud Gilberto, you'll love Gretchen Parlato. Although she was born more than a decade after Gilberto recorded her classic bossa nova albums with Stan Getz, Parlato has a similarly pure, sweet voice and an intuitive knack for Brazilian rhythms... Parlato revealed a level of musical sophistication not always present in Gilberto's singing."
Young Vocalist Shows Charisma, Talent,
David Steinberg, Albuquerque Journal
"Rarely does a jazz singer come along whose voice instantly sweeps you off your feet."