In a competitive world of fine female vocalists, I have been occupied by a number that has not included Melody Gardot, for no particular reason other than you can’t listen to everything.
So I’m glad I came across this live album because she and the band and the performances are quite stunning, certainly demonstrating that the live medium is a perfect platform for her talents.
It’s all damn good. There are two long performances I will cite to illustrate: closer Morning Sun is a brooding twelve minutes of gospel-esque perfection, Gardot in gorgeous voice as well as some fine scatting and warble and soaring, piano and organ accompaniments building the jazzier edge of that gospel sound, horns buttressing. The percussive end with Gardot sweetly layered above is lovely.
The outstanding performance is the eleven minutes of The Rain, here the band in dynamic atmospheric mode, Irwin Hall on sax quite exemplary, and some scorching guitar work merged within. Cello by Stephan Braun. Brilliant.