Melody Gardot – More than just the one thrill

A sold out Philharmonie welcomed American jazz and blues singer Melody Gardot to Luxembourg on Saturday night.

Having received Grammy nominations for her 2009 album “My One and Only Thrill” Gardot has gone on to delve into a more expansive blues and jazz groove with her new album “Currency of Man” which saw her experiment in the studio with frequency and tuning, producing an edgier, warmer tone to her sound, all of which she brought to the show on Saturday night.

Arriving to a dimly lit stage all dressed in black with her hat creating a shadow over her face, Gardot and her 6-piece band kicked off with the soulful snarl of “Same to You” which bounded along with the pounding bass and thunderous drums creating the all encompassing beat for Gardot’s voice to tread upon.

Although it’s Gardot’s name on the ticket the band were a joy all night long, with the baritone sax and trumpet taking up the tempo on “She Don’t Know” before the sensual tone of Gardot’s vocals intertwined as the rest of the band came in with real purpose.

With more than just a nod to Tom Waits the slow southern drawl of “Bad News” filled the room as the metronome pick of the electric guitar guided the song down a long and winding road through a dark sleazy night, with the horns once more punctuating the air breaking through a dreamlike hypnosis.

They continued on the darker gospel blues vibe with “Goodbye” as they introduced the double bass to great effect as always before delving into the French jazz inspired “Les Etoiles” accompanied by a washboard, cajón and muted trumpet.

By the end of the evening Gardot asked for some help and conducted some crowd participation of her own as she split the audience into three sections, giving them all parts to sing before taking on the slow build of one of the stand out tracks from the new album with “Preacherman”. The crunching guitar and rock edge epitomised her new change in direction and saw her let loose that bit more. As they finished and prepared to leave the stage the audience of the Philharmonie rose to their feet to give them a standing ovation.

Inevitably they would return to finish a triumphant evening with “It Gonna Come”. And we were treated to a rare sight at the Philharmonie, with the audience spilling out into the aisles dancing and clapping away as they were all swept up in a wave of soulful jazz to finish. As Gardot vacated the stage, she left the band to play her out and to lap up the well deserved applause.

Although her new album might not have had the commercial success of the others, its more experimental approach makes it an altogether more intriguing experience which came across in her performance last night.

09.04.16 Philharmonie

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