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In a Dream

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Oct. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Obliqsound
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 213,719 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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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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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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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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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 (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.1 out of 5 stars 21 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Jazz CD 4 July 2016
By Rita Sweeney - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I liked this CD as well. This is my second CD that I have purchased so far for this particular jazz artist. I have fell in love with her music.
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 10 Oct. 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Good album, yet her next CD was even greater.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful voice, but this just isn't my style 6 Jun. 2013
By SGHunter - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Maybe I'm just too old and should stop trying "new" music. But I had read some positive reviews, and I do usually enjoy a soft voice. So I gave it a try.

I agree with other reviewers that Gretchen's voice is quite beautiful, and for the right person, this will be a great addition to your collection. But it's not staying in mine.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 14 Oct. 2015
By S. A. Bens - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A nice setup
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars sophisticated and natural 4 Mar. 2010
By Claire H. - Published on
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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