London Jazz Festival – Gretchen Parlato

Earlier this year, on the way to work, I read a positive review of a Jazz CD, but someone called Gretchen Parlato.  I looked her up and ordered her CD – I was on the look-out for someone new to listen to. 

I played her CD for Hubby when it arrived.  We were both hooked.  Silky voice, invigorating arrangements but not overly intense like Esperanza Spalding.  Gretchen’s CD became a household favourite and we played it especially on Fridays during the long summer evenings while sitting on our deck sipping wine. 

When I found out Gretchen was performing in the London Jazz Festival, I knew this was one performance we couldn’t miss. 

Last night, after dinner at the Rotunda Bar, we proceeded to Hall One at Kings Place.  We were seated in Row B, 2 rows from the front. 

The venue was small and intimate.  I knew we were in for a fabulous evening. 

Gretchen came on stage on time in a pretty salmon-colour one-shoulder cut dress.   Her band was made up of Kendrik Scott on the drums,  Alan Hampton – bass, and Taylor Eigsti on the piano.  The band itself was worth going to the gig for.  Each of them were accomplished musicians with many albums to their names.

Gretchen covered songs from her recent album, Lost and Found, and a few from her previous album In a Dream.  I can’t remember the sequence of the songs, but her notable songs were Butterfly, Circling, Better Than, Still, Holding Back the Years, Alo Alo and All That I Can Say.   I enjoyed all her songs and the duet with Alan Hampton (called ‘Still’ – he played the guitar) was an outstanding performance.  Gretchen was a gracious performer, she gave a lot of credit to her band and a delight to listen to. 

The gig started at 8pm and was over by 9.30pm.   I could have listened to her all night. 

I hope they invite Gretchen and her band back for next year’s Jazz festival.  Definitely the best gig I’ve been to this year.


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