Melody Gardot Kicks Off SummerStage

Melody Gardot at SummerStage

Melody Gardot at SummerStage

Melody Gardot Led off the SummerStage season with a brilliant performance last night at Rumsey Playfield. Clad in a shimmering gold dress she lit up the stage, both visually and musically, and brightened what had threatened to be a dark and rainy evening. Her accompaniment by the New York Pops Orchestra was at all times seamless and frequently outstanding as the arrangements perfectly complemented her nuanced interpretations of standards and original material.

The New York Pops opened with a creatively orchestrated “Blue Rondo ala Turk” and followed with “It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing”.   Melody Gardot then took the stage accompanied by a very tight and talented combo that included Charles Staab III on drums, Charnett Moffett on Bass, Irwin Hall and Anthony Ware, both taking turns on Saxophone Clarinet and Flute.

Highlights of the evening included a soulfully bopping version of the classic “Caravan” that featured Gardot’s smoothly sultry vocals as well as solos by Hall and Ware.   Her subtly rich voice was also featured on “If The Stars Were Mine”, “My One And Only Thrill” and “Our Love Is Easy”.

The first song of her encore was an atmospherically perfect rendition of “Summertime” that segued smoothly into “Fever”.  Gardot finished the evening with an evocative, and happily unsentimental, version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”.  This followed her most personal moment of the performance when she described how her grandmother, who raised her, bought only one video recording to entertain Melody on a daily basis throughout her childhood.  What sounded like some sort of Munchkin water torture resulted in a beautifully realized vocation.

Melody Gardot singing "If The Stars Were Mine" at SummerStage

Melody Gardot singing "If The Stars Were Mine" at SummerStage

The SummerStage Festival itself was run with it’s usual efficiency and good humor.  That combined with a new sound system and a great performance resulted in a perfect kick off to this year’s season.

1 comment to Melody Gardot Kicks Off SummerStage

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>