gretchen parlato: finding the essence


“I like to pare a song down to get to its essence”, Parlato told me while preparing for a creativity workshop at the Wichita Jazz Festival. “The best kind of compliment is when people tell me they had never really paid attention to the lyrics of Simply Red’s “Holding Back The Years” or Mary J. Blige’s “All That I Can Say” until they heard me sing them” (Both songs are on the new CD). For Parlato, paring the song down is more than vocal emphasis on the words—it involves a unique approach by her entire band.

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by Thomas Cunniffe