Went out last week -- with my old friend music writer Andy Snipper -- to see Philly-born jazz/blues songstress Melody Gardot, the second time I've attended one of her performances in less than a year. And it might seem unusual for an American singer to visit our shores so frequently, but Ms. Gardot -- who has a very interesting background --lives in Paris these days. So hopefully, we will be seeing a whole lot more of her during the next few years. That's great news for fans of real music and real talent, rather than the manufactured garbage that gets thrust on us so much these days via The X Factor and similar shows.
The first time I saw her, at the Bloomsbury Theatre, she performed with a three-piece backing band in front of an audience that had struggled in despite a Tube strike taking place that day, and was so brilliant she brought the house down. On this occasion she was at the Union Chapel, N1, a stunningly beautiful church in Islington which continues to hold Sunday worship, but which doubles as a music venue during the less Godly days of the week. It wasn't quite as great a show as the previous one. This time, along with the jazzmen, Gardot was backed up by an eight-piece string section, and the formality of that arrangement hampered her a little. But make no mistake, she is a terrific singer, with the lyricism of a Julie London and the fire and passion, when needed, of a Peggy Lee. And she's no mean songwriter either. If you get the chance to check her out, then take it. And in the meantime, here is Andy's review of the evening's performance for Music-News.com. (*The album cover displayed is from Wikipedia, and appears here under the Fair Use rule.)