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Gretchen Parlato: Live In NYC

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If the arresting purity of Gretchen Parlato’s voice, so ethereal yet so substantial, isn’t proof enough of her preeminent place among contemporary jazz singers, then judge her by the company she keeps. Since her arrival on the New York scene a decade ago, an anniversary celebrated with this CD/DVD combo, Parlato has made guest appearances on more than 50 albums, including Teri Lyne Carrington’s The Mosaic Project, Esperanza Spalding’s Chamber Music Society and Radio Music Society, and releases from Gerald Clayton, Kenny Barron, Terence Blanchard, Gregoire Maret, Marcus Miller, Lionel Loueke, Dayna Stephens, Sean Jones and Becca Stevens. In addition, she produced up-and-coming jazz vocalist Lauren Desberg’s 2012 debut, Sideways, joining Desberg for a stunning “You Go to My Head,” and contributed an exquisite “Waters of March” to 2010’s The Generosity Water Project, an all-star fundraiser linked to World Water Day.

Along the way, Parlato found time to record two of the past decade’s most critically acclaimed vocal albums, 2009’s In a Dream and 2011’s The Lost and Found. For Live in NYC she draws exclusively from their play-lists. Captured early last December over two evenings at the Lower East Side’s intimate Rockwood Music Hall, the dates feature alternating rhythm sections, both anchored by pianist Taylor Eigsti, who was integral to the beauty of The Lost and Found. Eigsti is first teamed with bassist Alan Hampton (also featured on The Lost and Found) and drummer Mark Guiliana, then with bassist Burniss Earl Travis II and Kendrick Scott, drummer on both of Parlato’s studio albums.

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