Open to Possibilities

Elzy Kolb, Hot House
June 2008

Whether she's singing live or in the studio, intimacy and connecting with the listener is important for Gretchen Parlato. "You can create an intimate setting in the studio, but that's very different from being on stage. There's nothing like conversation with others, sharing this art and having the audience there to support you, encourage you. You feed off the energy and it moves the music to a different space. The audience adds energy you can't create in the studio." Regardless of the venue, Gretchen's goal as a singer is to "open myself up, and be more open, honest and vulnerable, to let that part of myself shine through. We all go through the same emotions, the same life experiences. I'm lucky as an artist to be able to share that with other people." Gretchen will be heading for the recording studio in the fall with her core group consisting of piano, guitar, bass, and drums. She'll be singing "in different settings within the instrumentation, mixing up textures and sounds," Gretchen says. "It will be quite a bit more electric sounding than my first CD, but I don't want to lose that intimacy." In the meantime, she'll combine recording and live performance at Cachaca on June 1, when her sets will be captured for Japan's NHK television network. You can also catch Gretchen on bassist Esperanza Spalding's new CD, Esperanza (HeadsUp).