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Gretchen Parlato: A Maven of Tone, Timbre and Texture

A listening session with the acclaimed singer

Gretchen Parlato
Gretchen Parlato
Gretchen Parlato

Since winning the 2004 Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocal Competition, California-raised, New York-based Gretchen Parlato has become a favorite of critics, fans and fellow musicians. The 35-year-old sings standards, but not from the dog-eared pages of the Great American Songbook. With a musician’s sensibility, she carves out idiosyncratic arrangements of jazz instrumentals and Brazilian sambas, as well as pop and R&B gems from the ’80s and ’90s. She’s also starting to write more, and her song stories are as distinctive as her phrasing.

It seems everyone wants to work with Parlato these days, and she’s already appeared on more than 50 recordings, including projects with Lionel Loueke, Kenny Barron, Terence Blanchard, Becca Stevens and Esperanza Spalding. Parlato’s latest recording as a leader is The Lost and Found (ObliqSound).

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