For me, there are few things more relaxing than my Grado headphones and an ultra-smooth female jazz singer. And the best of them remind me of months spent in Paris and Madrid in the mid 90s. Historically, this space has been filled by the likes of originals like Ella Fitzgerald, amazing collaborations like Linda Ronstadt with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, and most recently Diana Krall.
Right now, the top of my heap is Melody Gardot, whose latest album “My One and Only Thrill” is stunning top-to-bottom. It’s classic café jazz in the sense she delivers amazing emotion, muted trumpets, and the arrangements range from subtle to 20- layers deep. It’s truly high water stuff, and it’s catapulted her almost instantly into the live jazz scene across Europe and Australia over the next 3-4 months.
Her success is especially amazing given she found her way into music a result of a near-death experience. Gardot was a 19 year-old art student when she was struck and nearly killed by a Jeep while riding her bike through the streets of her native Philadelphia. She taught herself to play guitar as music therapy, and out popped an EP in 2005.
If jazz moves you in the least, both the EP and the latest album are must-samples – and “My One and Only Thrill” is an instant purchase. Enjoy!