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The Lost and Found

4.6 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Gretchen Parlato's 2009 breakthrough, In a Dream, signaled the arrival of one of this generation's most inventive modern jazz singers. The recording garnered international acclaim being voted onto year-end, "best-of" polls for Jazz Times,The Boston Globe, The Village Voice and NPR among others. Billboard Magazine hailed it as "the most alluring jazz vocal album of 2009" while The New York Times declared, "Ms. Parlato, a jazz singer of deep musical instincts and an appealingly effervescent style." To this day, In A Dream charts among the 200 topselling jazz albums at retail and digital service providers around the world. Now with the release of her 2011 follow-up, The Lost and Found, Parlato demonstrates that she has staying power. Co-produced by Parlato and her longtime musical collaborator Robert Glasper, the 15-track collection arrives with immediate weight and intensity, exposing a vast dynamic range in the young singer's repertoire. Original compositions, including "Winter Wind", "Circling" and the title track,prove Parlato to be a flourishing lyricist and composer. When paired alongside interpretations of material ranging from Simply Red's classic "Holding Back The Years" to Mary J. Blige's quiet storm gem "All That I Can Say" to the `60s Wayne Shorter jazz standard "Juju" (refitted with her own lyrics), it's easy to anticipate Parlato's continued upward trajectory. The Lost And Found shows all the signs of becoming the first breakout jazz album of 2011.

Review

"...jazz singing at its best." -- The Boston Phoenix

"A jazz singer of deep musical instincts and an appealingly effervescent style." -- The New York Times

"Parlato is arguably one of the most original vocal performers of her generation." -- International Review of Music

"a musician whose instrument happens to be her voice... utterly captivating...stunning from the outset, Parlato makes everything her own." -- The Boston Globe

"a singer with ideas aplenty and the chops to deliver them." -- The Detroit Metro Times
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 5, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: OBLIQSOUND
  • ASIN: B004OCCLCA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,780 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music
Gretchen Parlato is building quite a following and deservedly so. Her phrasing is subtle and concise and, at the same time, smooth and sultry. Her new offering couples a mix of the old and the new (and some of the old offers a nod--believe it or not--to Mary J. Blige, but fear not, jazz fans, it's all good) and a nice touch of some Brazilian flavors. I particularly enjoyed the incredible percussive flow from drummer Kendrick Scott (a frequent visitor to Herbie Hancock's efforts).

This is a terrific CD and I've been enjoying it immensely.
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Treat yourself to the hauntingly beautiful voice of Gretchen Parlato and get drawn into to a vocal, lyrical seduction! Her third offering, The Lost and Found, was more personal and emotional than the first two, in my opinion. Gretchen has a way of making each note that she sings count in the most delicate but strongest of ways. Personal faves are "Circling", "How We Love" and "Me and You." Having said that, this is a CD that you can hit play on and never have to skip tunes. She creatively takes tunes like Mary J Blige's, All That I can Say, and Mick Hucknall's Holding Back the Years, and makes them into something new and unique without losing their original essence. It is exciting to have innovative talent like Gretchen in the jazz world.
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Gretchen Parlato has a beautiful voice and a very hip style. She is a highly technical vocalist utilizing some impressive vocal techniques. The arrangements on this record are also very hip and contemporary, and well produced. O.k., you feel the "but" coming and here it is; she sings through her nose. In and of itself, this is o.k., but - for this listener - after the third song, I've really had enough of that sound. I hope she expands the range of her techniques, and backs off of this particular feature - and I know she's a good enough singer to do this - because, as I've said, the rest is quite good.
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Jazz vocalists don't always have great voices. In fact some of the best really don't - think Billie Holiday. Her voice was small, her range smaller, and for the last 10+ years of her life, she had abused her voice so badly that what little that she had was mostly gone. But her "Songs for Distingue Lovers" is a masterpiece. That beaten-up worn out voice was used in an evocative way that was right for trying to communicate.

This is a long way to say that Gretchen Parlato's voice is an acquired taste. If she didn't have a microphone you'd never be able to hear her. But you can hear her and the way she sings is intensely personal and intimate. Her voice is breathy in the jazz tradition but is unusually nasal (as noted by another reviewer). At first it is off-putting, but after a while Parlato's singing casts a spell and you are caught up in her world.

At her best, Parlato's singing allows the listener to feel intense longing, loss, joy. She has a way of repeating a lyric that adds to the emotional tension. The song "Better Than" is a perfect example of this. She almost whispers the opening lyrics and repeats the line "there's nothing better than" at the end of each stanza, increasing the intensity level during the bridge. It's really beautiful and emotionally beguiling.

I do have to quarrel with her choice of material though. The last half of the CD is lackluster. The songs just aren't that interesting. That's why I have given the CD 4 stars.

One more thing - I'm not sure that Parlato is really a jazz singer. Jazz singing doesn't require scat vocals (vocal improv) or vocalise (putting words to jazz improvisation), but it has to sound like jazz.
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Format: Audio CD
For the past two weeks I have listened to nothing but this album. I have been thoroughly blown away. Rarely do recordings affect me like this. It has taken me awhile to gather the words that explain why. Here goes:

As I noted in Ms. Parlato's superb debut, "In a Dream," Ms. Parlato has an incredible voice. It is light, yet never breathy. It sounds like it is from heaven. It is certainly dream-like, as the title of that recording implies. And here it is even more so.

And part of that gestalt must be credited to Ms. Parlato's bandmates. Kendrick Scott (d), Taylor Eigsti (p.), Derrick Hodge (b.), and guests (Dayna Stephens - ts and Alan Hampton - g) scale and craft their sound to match Ms. Parlato's vocal timbre. This band of musicians is just so psychically in tune with each other.

But what do I mean by "dreamlike"? Certainly, Ms. Parlato hits the dream-state of suspense of time in "The Lost and Found" and in the "In the Dream Remix" (tracks 14 and 10). And she hits the dream-state of alpha waves pouring over your soul like the warm autumn sun in "Better Than," "All That I Can Say" and "Me and You." (tracks 6, 11 and 12).

But that's not to say her voice is "dreamy." Far from it. Listen to her scream on "JuJu," and how she matches up to Stephens' tenor sax. That certainly is one of the highlights of the c.d., and it proves (if you need proof) that Ms. Parlato can hit the range of all human emotions.

Listen to the two most arresting cuts on the c.d. In dream psychology, the sense of circling is the sense of discovering one's true self, one's core. And that is what "Circling" (track 8) is about.

And finally, for me the most stunning track on the disc, "Winter WInd," track 2.
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