JAZZ REVIEW | GRETCHEN PARLATO
Sophistication and Brazilian Rhythms
Jazz Review by DON HECKMAN
of Gretchen Parlato
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.
Appearing at Spazio in Sherman Oaks on Sunday night, Parlato revealed
a level of musical sophistication not always present in Gilberto's singing.
Delivering her lyrical passages with crisp articulation, she also improvised
in horn-like fashion, investing her lines with an awareness of the shifting
flow of harmonies.
The choice of material for a show she labeled "Musica Brasileira" was
excellent, ranging from Jobim's classic "Chega De Saudade" to such older
pieces as Bide and Marcal's "A Premeira Vez" and Geraldo Pereira's "Falsa
Bahiana." In each case, Parlato's musicality was a key element in interpretations
that often illuminated the heart of the songs.
Parlato was aided enormously by the presence of a superb accompanying
ensemble: Larry Koonse, guitar, Tamir Hendelman, piano, Tony Dumas,
bass, Enzo Todesco, drums. Given ample room to solo, they used the space
enthusiastically, with Hendelman's thoughtful solo on "Chega De Saudade"
a highlight of the set.