Singer Melody Gardot and her band played to a rapturous audience on March 13.
|PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ESPLANADE CO. LTD.|
Known for her wry humor, sultry voice and scat-singing, Melody Gardot showed her chops as solo performer, band leader and songwriter, playing last Saturday at the Esplanade Concert Hall as part of the Mosaic Music Festival. Decked out in black—Wayfarers, jacket and tights, killer heels with a brilliant red scarf and lipstick—she was dressed to thrill, and thrill she did.
Beginning with a roaring tempest of sound in “The Rain”, Gardot began by “strumming” the piano. The discordant bass thunder punctuated by the patter of rain from the brushes on the snare drum recreated that afternoon’s torrential storm.
She continued to impress the audience on the guitar with “Baby I’m A Fool” and “If The Stars Were Mine”. The guitar laid the foundation for her clear sensual voice to carry each note. Scat-singing or guitar-playing, Gardot is a captivating musician with a compelling story to tell.
A car accident that nearly ended her life catapulted her into a musical career. Due to serious head and spinal injuries, Gardot was confined to her bed for a year, where she learned to play the guitar. Music therapy helped her neural pathways to reform, and Gardot, having played for gas money at piano bars as a teenager, took to it like a duck to water. Her songs written during this period were released as an EP, and attracted enough attention for her to be signed by a major record label.
The concert thrilled because Gardot’s band matched her beautifully. Her drummer and bassist drove the act with punchy bass lines, and energetic beats, forming the backbone for the solos.
It is proof of her songwriting genius that her songs lay the foundation for these talented musicians to build on. On her album, her songs have you humming the harmony parts. In concert, her band takes these harmonies and creates a vortex of sound that transports you to a different plane of aural experience.
Gardot’s audience was rapt; the energy level in the hall was incredible. She laid her cane aside and grooved to the music. The audience responded with clapping and cheering at every song, ending the night with a standing ovation. Gardot and the band returned to pump it up even more with a encore sing-along session of “Who Will Comfort Me”.
It was an evening that left the audience deeply satisfied and humming to themselves as they left.
The Mosaic Music Festival (www.mosaicmusicfestival.com) ends March 21.