17 Songs, 1 Hour 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On Live in Europe, one hears how Melody Gardot's languorous vocals and measured tempos can captivate an audience. The performances, steeped in jazz, bossa nova, soul, and vintage pop, were captured around the continent between 2012 and 2016. From the Tom Waitsian melancholy of "Goodbye" to Sam Minaie's brilliant bass and Irwin Hall's incendiary reeds on "March for Mingus," Gardot and the band sound intensely connected. The rapport with cellist Stephan Braun, notably on a bouncy "Over the Rainbow," takes Live in Europe to another level.

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On Live in Europe, one hears how Melody Gardot's languorous vocals and measured tempos can captivate an audience. The performances, steeped in jazz, bossa nova, soul, and vintage pop, were captured around the continent between 2012 and 2016. From the Tom Waitsian melancholy of "Goodbye" to Sam Minaie's brilliant bass and Irwin Hall's incendiary reeds on "March for Mingus," Gardot and the band sound intensely connected. The rapport with cellist Stephan Braun, notably on a bouncy "Over the Rainbow," takes Live in Europe to another level.

Mastered for iTunes
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
26 Ratings
26 Ratings
Tekplus1

Awesome!

Always loved Melody, in addition to her beautiful voice and compositions she's a music scientist, studying how sound and music effect the mind and heart. Great to get these alternate live takes of some her best. Have to say that the album cover is as good as her great music!

bzer1121

Avenue C

Hard to believe that we were next door neighbor's and you have become an international phenomenon! Congratulations, your voice and music are awesome!

Travis McClain

Music as Art

There are two kinds of music: entertainment music and art music. I don't mean to suggest that one is somehow superior or inferior; that's asinine. But it is fair to acknowledge that each has its own ambitions. Melody Gardot's music has evolved from one album to the next, sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically, but she has always sought to explore and create art music rather than entertainment music.

This live compilation showcases that evolution, but what stands out is that there is a more homogeneous aesthetic to these performances than those crafted for the studio albums. It's less obvious just to hear two different songs on "Live in Europe" and instantly identify which album they came from. That Gardot's music can be so distinctive while also being open to being reinterpreted is, to my mind anyway, a testament to the thoughtfulness with which she wrote and conceived of each song.

Lastly, it must be noted that Gardot's vocals are every bit as clear and as engaging live as in the studio--something that seems to have become increasingly rare among contemporary vocalists. If anything, she sounds more emotive here, surely caught up in the moment. There's a little bit more vulnerability, a little more heartache, but also a little more spontanaeity and playfulness.

To play "Live in Europe" is to fall in love with Melody Gardot all over again, and after a decade of following her music, I still enjoy falling in love with her. My only qualm is that she has yet to come to Louisville, KY for a concert that I can attend!

About Melody Gardot

The story of vocalist, guitarist, and pianist Melody Gardot is as remarkable as any who perseveres against abject adversity. Blessed with a beautiful voice and grand insight as a songwriter, Gardot overcame a life-threatening bicycle accident early in her career. As amazing as her story is, what is more evident is that she possesses a blue, jazz-oriented style and dusky persona that reflect not only her afflictions, but conversely the hope and joy of making personalized music that marks her as an original.

Born in New Jersey in 1985, she took up piano and played as a youngster on the nightclub scene of Philadelphia, influenced by jazz, folk, rock, and pop music. At age 19 she was a fashion student at the Community College of Philadelphia. But, on a fateful day, while riding her bicycle, the driver of a Jeep made an illegal turn, hurtling into Gardot and leaving her in the street for dead. As she lay hospitalized for months with multiple head injuries and pelvic fractures, her love for music was the best therapy she could receive. While in her hospital bed, she wrote and recorded songs that would become the EP Some Lessons.

Upon her eventual release from intensive care, Gardot found the strength and determination to further her career. Hypersensitive to light and noise, she adopted dark glasses. On-stage she also required a special seating unit, and often wore a Transcutaneous Electro-Nerve Stimulator, a TENS device, to assist in alleviating her neuralgic muscle pain. Despite these hurdles, she recorded her debut full-length, Worrisome Heart, which was reissued in 2007 by the Verve label. Well received, the album drew comparisons to Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, and Eva Cassidy.

In 2009, working with producer Larry Klein and arranger Vince Mendoza -- both known for their work with Joni Mitchell -- Gardot followed up her Verve debut with My One and Only Thrill. The album peaked at number two on the Billboard's U.S. Jazz Albums chart. She returned in 2012 with her third studio album, The Absence, featuring production from guitarist/composer Heitor Pereira. The album continued her upward trajectory, landing in the Top 30 on the Billboard 200 and reaching the top of the U.S. Jazz Albums chart.

Gardot altered her musical direction when she returned to the recording studio. She reteamed with Klein, and focused on music strongly influenced by R&B, blues, and jazz in a set of original, socially conscious songs. Her first single/video, "Preacherman," was inspired by the death of Emmett Till. The second, "It Gonna Come," was released as a docu-video a week prior to the album. The full-length, Currency of Man, was released by Decca in June of 2015. In 2018 she delivered her first full-length concert album, Live in Europe. Recorded at a series of shows between 2012 and 2016, the album showcased Gardot backed by her adept touring ensemble. ~ Michael G. Nastos

HOMETOWN
New Jersey
GENRE
Jazz
BORN
February 2, 1985

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