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In a Dream


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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Oct 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Obliqsound
  • ASIN: B002FUIICU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,805 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. I Can't Help It 4:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Within Me 5:35£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Butterfly 5:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. In A Dream 5:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Doralice 3:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Turning Into Blue 5:15£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. E.S.P. 4:07£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Azure 4:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. On The Other Side 4:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Weak 5:09£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

The new highly anticipated album from New York's jazz wonder Gretchen Parlato, a real rising star who is being championed by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Gilles Peterson. Gretchen Parlato is New York's new sensation. Striking the ideal balance between precision and flexibility, between jazz and downtown sensibility she is never predictable, blurring the lines between singer and instrumentalist as she takes a lyric - and at other times improvised flights of wordless fancy - to places it's never before been. On 'In a Dream', Gretchen Parlato and her intuitive support team reinvent constantly the art of singing. Aligning with a virtuosic quartet she describes as "inspiring, creative, sensitive, musical souls" -- new jazz star Lionel Loueke on guitar, Aaron Parks on piano and Fender Rhodes (both Blue Note recording artists), Derrick Hodge on acoustic and electric bass, and drummer Kendrick Scott - Parlato brings the warmth and compelling command of her much-heralded live performances to 10 exquisite new peeks into her artistic personality. Both Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter are already fans. Hancock has said that Parlato has a "deep, almost magical connection to the music", and Shorter has said "in an inconspicuous way, Gretchen plays the same instrument as Frank Sinatra." Personnel: Gretchen Parlato (vocals, percussion), Lionel Loueke (guitar, vocals), Aaron Parks (piano, Fender Rhodes, organ, glockenspiel, synthesizer), Derrick Hodge (acoustic bass), Kendrick Scott (drums)

BBC Review

As far as clichés go, there is the jazz singer who scats, and the one what don’t. That said, there doesn’t have to be a never-the-twain-shall-meet divide between the rousing fireworks of Sarah Vaughan and the sultry embers of Billie Holiday, and it could be argued that vocal improvising itself has become even more interesting in the past few decades simply because those two strands have entwined to varying degrees.

A known quantity on the New York jazz scene through appearances with a coterie of progressive players such as the Beninois Lionel Loueke, Gretchen Parlato is a singer whose creativity lies somewhere between those two poles. She has an almost insidious subtlety, personalising a theme by way of improvisations that are often just a few delicately curled phrases that sometimes mirror the hypnotically grainy chords of Loueke’s nylon string guitar.

Parlato respects melody above all else. Her negotiation of each song is as sensitive as that of the rest of the band – keys, bass, drums – and the lean, spare nature of the arrangements, at times stripped right down to just voice and crisp finger picking, brings a spacious, airborne quality to the work.

Tonally, Parlato has moments where she recalls a cultured folk-rock singer such as Suzanne Vega; but for the most part the hazy finesse of a long line of great Brazilian singers, notably Flora Purim, is also discernible. Indeed, a Latin sensibility is very strong, rhythmically as well as vocally, above all on a quite sumptuous reprise of Herbie Hancock’s Butterfly, a tune that is tailor made for Parlato for its gliding, slow burn lyricism.

Originals such as Weak and the title track also impress by the focused economy of their verse-chorus structure but, for the most part, In a Dream unveils a singer with her own sound, which is something that often takes many years for young pretenders to achieve, whether the route taken is via the billowing energy of Sassy or the vaporous languor of Billie. --Kevin Le Gendre

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ian Thumwood on 21 April 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I think that the follow up record "Lost & found" realises the potential apparent on this record and , of the two, is the one to choose. This earlier effort is no less enjoyable and includes some terrific tracks such as "I can't help it", "Within me", "Butterfly" and "Weak." The standout track is the brillian "On the other side" which absolutely nails this song and is totally infectious.

That said, there are a few moments where the results aren't quite as magical and "ESP" doesn't quite work as well as the jazz originals on the "Lost & found" release nor as successful as Herbie Hancock's "Butterfly" on this record. Ellington's "Azure" doesn't quite take off either but these reservations aside, Gretchen Parlato remains for me one of the most exciting jazz artists to arrive on the scene in the last couple of years after a period in the 2000's where alot of the new talent seemed a bit conservative. Backed by a very good band that includes Aaron Parks on piano, I think presents a brave redefining of what jazz vocals are now about and whilst I love the pop-savvy quality of this record, the follow up really fulfils the potential. That said, I am a big fan of this singer and would recommend both CD's unreservedly.
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
I discovered Gretchen recently. I was surprised to read that she was the daughter of one of Frank Zappa's Mother's of Invention. Strange pedigree one may think. But Gretchen gets it right and touches that sound when it comes to Brazilian / Latin music. A must for anybody who loves Latin Jazz.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Is! It! In? on 14 Jun 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great vocalists and instrumentalists.Comes over as an overture to modern love.Like the mix of musicians from different continents and styles.Guitar piano drums and bass.Songs old and new.Perfect and makes you dream new dreams?!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
One of the best of the decade in my book.. 3 Sep 2009
By Kevin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you haven't heard the buzz surrounding this emerging vocal goddess, then it's about time you take a listen for yourself.

Stylistically, Gretchen Parlato has drawn comparisons to the soothing, understated, classic feel of Astrud Gilberto or Chet Baker. But such comparisons are at risk of negating the sizzling contemporary feel of the band she's assembled here, in all its rhythmic glory and orchestral genius. Each member of the rhythm section is a veteran of Terence Blanchard's band, which truly carries on the legacy of Miles Davis in his savvy recruitment of gifted young players with bright futures as bandleaders, which these four gentlemen have all become; but they offer their services as sidemen here with a joyful energy that is undeniable.

Lionel Loueke is the guitarist/vocalist responsible for the baffling accompaniment on the opening Michael Jackson cover, a heartfelt tribute the likes of which you won't hear anywhere else. Two other covers honor the legends whom both Parlato and Loueke have been privileged to learn from firsthand: Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, ring any bells? The remaining trio of Aaron Parks, Derrick Hodge, and Kendrick Scott - on piano, bass & drums respectively - might not `stand out' as much upon first listen, but throughout the album they utilize their rock-solid virtuosity and sensitivity to guide Gretchen through this 'dream' that shifts seamlessly through diverse textures and forms, with an arsenal of both acoustic and electric (and bodily) instruments that keep you tapping your foot but never detract from the bliss offered by the lead voice.

Speaking of which, be advised that this is a woman who refuses to let the beauty of her music be overshadowed by her physical beauty, despite the seductive image she's chosen for the album cover, which merely serves as a perfect representation for the (you guessed it) `dreamy' theme of the set. She stares at you seemingly on the verge of peaceful slumber, inviting you to get 'lost' in this journey that takes you through Brazil, Africa, Motown, California, and her hometown of New York City, employing intoxicating sounds and grooves rooted in each of these places.

More importantly, after you listen to this album 100 times - I guarantee there's nothing to ever get sick of here, only a treasure chest that will never stop inspiring you - you'll realize that Parlato is the only singer on the scene today who can present a project of this caliber so effortlessly, because she's one of the very few (vocal) artists who knows what true expression requires, and doesn't require, and she has worked and studied to develop a flawless, uniquely angelic style that nobody can reasonably question for its tasteful technique.

Through headphones, you'll be astounded by the vulnerability that takes hold as she almost-but-not-quite whispers through many phrases. And she simply floats into her high falsetto, often in unison with the other instruments, a wonderful trick that nobody else can execute with such precision and warmth (listen for the organ in the title track). Not to mention the mature creativity of her overall delivery, or the tone so vibrant yet achingly delicate that it just might make you cry, yet still fill you with hope if you're going through difficult times...

In the end, all that's left here is great music to free your heart and your mind. Forget everything you think `jazz' means. Parlato, along with her friend and comrade Esperanza Spalding, has created an opportunity for people of all cultures and tastes, especially in the times we live in, to simply enjoy themselves through song and dance, with the liberating spirit of improvisation intact. Even if you choose to somehow ignore her compelling lyrical craftsmanship, this voice is one for the ages as an instrument alone.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Sensual and Charming 3 Oct 2009
By Rick Cornell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is one of my favorite c.d.'s of 2009. The cover of this c.d., of Gretchen Parlato in feathers and/or leaves and/or lace and/or cover art that looks like those things, portends what this c.d. is about. It is truly one of the most sensual sounding recordings in quite awhile.

Ms. Parlato has a very light voice; but it is not breathy. "Breathy" implies air, and she sounds above the air. With the main instrumentation of Kendrick Scott's and Ms. parlato's drums and percussion, and Aaron Parks' Fender Rhodes, this c.d. overall feels like a tapdance on bright, fluffy clouds.

The c.d. almost sounds like a paean to early fusion. In fact, my two favorite tracks on this c.d. are Herbie Hancock's "Butterfly" and Wayne Shorter's "E.S.P.," spliced in with some sing-songy old recording of Gretchen Parlato singing when she was probably a very innocent two or three years old. So, the "Butterfly" is a chrysallis; and the young Miss Parlato had "E.S.P." about what her life might become. Nice.

But another nice touch is the multi-tracked a capella version of "Doralice," a pre-fusion, Bossa staple. This c.d. reminds me that Gretchen Parlato's closest sound counterpart, among the singers I'm familiar with, are a young Flora Purim and Maria Rita.

But the rest of the c.d. gives off the same buzz. From beginning (Stevie Wonder's "I Can't Help It") to end ("Weak"), this c.d. constantly charms the pants off of the listener. Highly recommended. RC

p.s. - The February 2010 edition of "Jazz Times" rates the top 50 c.d.'s of 2009. Amongst vocal jazz c.d.'s, this one is the top-rated disc, #8 overall. RC
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
actually 3,5 15 Mar 2013
By reverendo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This album is Gretchen Parlato's second release and was an album which created high expectations, taking into consideration what a formidable debut album she had delivered (review in the works).
These high expectations were met with great audacity right from the start with a wonderful rendering of Stevie Wonder's song which was immortalized through Michael Jackson. It's a tough song, but was tackled beautifully and creatively leaving this MJ fan in complete awe. Unfortunately this was the best track on the album. Although all the other tracks are interesting, the material simply isn't on par with the first album or the rendering of it is under par. If this were her first album and the other her second it would make much more sense, since there would have been a real sense of evolution.
From a producing point of view this album has a very diffused and soft sound. This makes evaluating Gretchen's singing so much more difficult, since I wasn't able to accurately state that she was singing with much more air in her voice than she had in her debut album. It really doesn't matter, because the result just sounds too soft (too much like Stacey Kent). One of the many things that striked me as very impressive in her first album was that her voice was so firm and solid, albeit small and sweet. In this album it's no longer true. The overall sound of the album is also much less transparent and sounds far less 'real' than the other.
As you may see, this small review is not a standalone point-of-view, but rather a result of a comparison to her prior album. If I hadn't heard that one first I probably would have loved this one. OTOH, I probably wouldn't have given her as much credit as is due, since this album does not showcase her her abilities, whether these are singing/interpreting or producing.
Just my 2 cents
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A great dream to be stuck in 30 Dec 2009
By H. Kennedy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I continue to come back to this music when I'm in need of beauty and integrity and class, three factors that have nearly disappeared from pop music. The highlight is the superb cover of the Getz/Jobim/Gilberto classic "Doralice," but the whole cycle of songs feels of a piece. Seamless, gorgeous jazz, wonderfully executed.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
sophisticated and natural 4 Mar 2010
By Claire H. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"In a dream" is very nice, there are many sophisticated ideas but still the sound manages to stay consistent and natural througout the album. The arrangements are smart and super accurate but not in a brainy way, the songs are very enjoyable and immediate. I'm not incredibly enthusiast about the singing style, it's elegant and refined but I find it a bit too whispered; anyway, it works well with the compositions. Overall, this album offers a refreshing perspective on the possibilities of songwriting/singing in jazz, more so if you're tired of mainstream replicas.
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