Led by New York-based vocalist/composer Gretchen Parlato, the most recent winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition, this quartet, featuring pianist Fabian Almazan, bassist Alan Hampton and drummer Kendrick Scott, is touring the country in support of her new release, In A Dream (ObliqSound). The record documents a mix of her own original material as well as singular interpretations of music by Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Stevie Wonder.
Critics have called In A Dream “simply stunning” (Ted Gioia, Jazz.com), “gently thrilling” (John Byngey, The Times, London), “leagues ahead of the year’s other vocal jazz recordings” (Michael J. West, Washington City Paper) and “the most alluring jazz vocal album of 2009” (Billboard).
“Parlato has been blessed with extraordinary talents,” explains The International Review of Music‘s Don Heckman, “an unerring sense of pitch, utterly relaxed rhythmic clarity, an open ear for harmony. Other singers have similar abilities. But what makes her so unique is the imaginative way in which she uses those skills to rove deeply within the instrumental sounds, while still retaining her presence as the vocal center of the music.”
“Gretchen Parlato became a presence in New York jazz five years ago,” wrote the New York Times‘ Ben Ratliff in a June 2009 live review. “There was always some warm egolessness in her performances: for sure, she was singing for and with each band, making clear the notion of the voice as an instrument. But really leading a band is a whole other refinement, and more recently she’s achieved it.”
Although she has only recorded twice as a leader, the Los Angeles native has performed with a wide range of prominent musical figures and already built a discography of more than 40 recordings, including recent titles by Kenny Barron, Terence Blanchard, Lionel Loueke and Esperanza Spalding.
AllMusic.com’s Michael G. Nastos adds, “Her singing is pure sterling silver…alluring, distinct, and mature…Gretchen Parlato is going to be a major player on the contemporary vocal music scene, jazz or not.” Learn more at http://gretchenparlato.com
2009 Fall Jazz Series Schedule:
09/18 :: Brandon Ross & Blazing Beauty
09/25 :: Matt Wilson Quartet
10/02 :: Mauger: Rudresh Mahanthappa/Mark Dresser/Gerry Hemingway
10/09 :: Steve Lehman Trio
10/16 :: Gretchen Parlato Band
10/23 :: Whirrr! The Music of Jimmy Giuffre
10/30 :: Taylor Eigsti Trio
11/06 :: ODE: Larry Ochs/Trevor Dunn/Lisle Ellis/Michael Sarin
11/13 :: The Peter Evans Quartet
11/20 :: Darius Jones Trio
12/04 :: Mary Halvorson Quintet
12/11 :: Amy Cervini Quartet
12/18 :: Daniel Levin Trio
Tickets and more information available at: