THE MARLENE DIETRICH OF JAZZ? Melody Gardot: Live In Europe

I’ve seen her twice in concert, and in person Melody Gardot veers between the hip rebel and vulnerable waif, with a voice that is palpably tender, but sometimes a delivery of a rebellious student.Like Marlene Dietrich, she exudes both exotic sensuality and delicate frailty simultaneously and without effort.

The two disc set covers European concerts dating between 2012 and 2016, initially with Sam Minae/cel and later with Chuck Staab/b always with Chuck Staab/dr, Mitchell Long/g and Irwin Hall/reeds and a handful of sidemen veering in and out.

The earlier pieces with Braun on cello have Gardo in a bohemian mood on pieces such as 2013’s  “Baby I’m A Fool” and especially stark on “My One and Only Thrill.” 2016’s “Baby…” has her in a more assertive mood with Staab’s drums, and with Devin Greenwood’s oozing organ, she gets chanteuse-toned on”Morning Sun.”

No matter the year, band or local, Gardot’s voice and gloriously behind the beat pulse and almost sotto voce delivery is palpable emotive, drawing you in so that you actual can touch the lyrics. It’s difficult to be this intimate and vulnerable in concert, but Gardot (literally on the cover) pulls it off.

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