Listening Room

12 Melody GardotSunset in the Blue
Melody Gardot
Decca Records (melodygardot.co.uk)

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If You Love Me

C'est Magnifique

From Paris With Love - Single Version

Video

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Singer/songwriter Melody Gardot has reunited with the Grammy-winning production team from her very successful 2009 release, My One and Only Thrill, for a return to her jazzy roots. With the sensitive guidance of producer Larry Klein and orchestral arrangements by the legendary Vince Mendoza, Sunset in the Blue manages to be both intimate and grand at the same time. 

The opening track, If You Love Me, sets the tone for this collection of originals and standards and originals-that-sound-like-standards, as this brand new song feels as familiar as an old friend.

Actual standards get masterful treatment and don’t deviate too far from other well-known covers. Moon River, might give you a sense of déjà vu, as the engineer for the track – Al Schmitt – is the same one who recorded Audrey Hepburn’s legendary version of the Mancini classic. 

Mendoza’s arrangements enhance Gardot’s subdued delivery while never overwhelming. C’est Magnifique is a prime example. The duet, with fado singer António Zambujo, is a sensual tribute to the sea, sung in English, French and Portuguese. At its heart it’s a simple song, but the orchestration elevates it to an exquisite piece of ear candy, reminiscent of an idyllic life and love. (For a little virtual escape, check out the accompanying video on YouTube.) About halfway through the album, a lively samba, Ninguém Ninguém, is a welcome palate cleanser. Feel free to get up and dance. 

Closing out the album is a stripped down version of I Fall in Love Too Easily. Anthony Wilson’s gorgeous guitar work along with Gardot’s somewhat world-weary delivery, is an emblem for these times, allowing us to reflect on where it all went wrong.

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