I’ve been a big fan of Melody Gardot for years now. I’ve mentioned her on this blog a couple of times already, reviewing her previous album Currency of Man, which also made my Top 5 Vocal Jazz Albums of 2015, as well as mentioning her great contributions to the compliations albums Autour de Nina, and Jazz Loves Disney.
She is a fantastic talent, with an amazing voice, and a very versatile style, from her early vocal jazz/singer-songwriter style albums Some Lessons, Worrisome Heart, and My One And Only Thrill, via the latin Swing of The Absence, to the much more soul-oriented Currency Of Man.
However, so far I haven’t yet seen her live (what a miss), so I was very excited when this latest live album was announced in late 2017.
Now it’s out, and I must admit it exceeded even my high expectations.
Live in Europe (Decca 2018)
So, what’s so great about this album?
First of all, the length, 1h45, so the band can really take the time to develop the songs, with the longest example, Morning Sun taking more than 12 minutes. Not one too many by the way, as this is one of the true highlights of the album.
The other great thing is that this in many places is a very minimalistic, “unplugged” style album, just Melody’s fantastic voice with very little instrumentation, which makes this even more special, and a very intimate experience. One example is the opening track, Our Love Is Easy, which over quite a while has her together with only a double bass. Outstanding!
This is a mix of several concerts in Europe, and you get the full bandwidth of styles. Lisboa (nicely enough taken from a concert in Lisbon) is an excellent example that the band can do a true latin samba-style swing, you get her “classics” like My One And Only Thrill, but even the more soul-type songs like Morning Sun get a very special, fresh treatment.
Melody Gardot is clearly surrounded by outstanding musicians here, as witnessed in the nearly 4 minutes instrumental intro of The Rain.
Another highlight of the album is March For Mingus, as it is really swinging and groving like crazy. The “original” of this song was a short 1:02 fragment on Currency of Man, which finally gets the 11:03 that it truly deserves.
Get this album as fast as you can! This is an instant classic.
My rating: 5 stars
6 thoughts on “Melody Gardot Live In Europe – A Must Have Album – My Review”
Thanks for introducing me to Gardot – a unique voice and stylings…Molly, aka JazzCookie
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You‘re welcome. I like her very much although she is not 100% “pure Jazz”
Being a fan of hers since the beginning, I only have a question about the format. Is the vinyl a true analog master to disk recording or is it a typical digital to vinyl. If it’s the latter, I’ll just buy the cd, but if it’d a true pressing from an analog master, $45 is a bargain. Either way this is on my to buy list. Also, thanks for the review. It’s hard to find good reviews nowadays.
Thanks for your feedback, really appreciate it.
I believe the master is digital 24/48 but it is hard to find formal confirmation of this.
In any case the available highness downloads are sold in this format (I bought mine of Qobuz).
If this were a native analog recording I presume they would have used a higher sample rate for the digital version like 24/96 or 24/192.
Note that the digital version is also slightly compressed with a dynamic range of 10.
That said, the recording really gives you the feeling of being there.