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Melody Gardot — Currency of Man {Deluxe Edition, The Artist’s Cut}

Melody Gardot — Currency of Man [Deluxe Edition] (The Artist's Cut) (June 2, 2015)

 Melody Gardot — Currency of Man [Deluxe Edition, The Artist’s Cut]
≡>       100 percent of the song’s income from Vevo views will go to the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation. Gardot tells Billboard, “It’s just incredible to be working alongside with the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation, sharing the story of his life.”
≡>       “We called it, amongst ourselves, ‘Ezra’s Song,’ (in honor of the baby) as the song was finished at the same moment we received the news his son had arrived into the world,” Gardot tells Billboard. “Literally, I had just finished the last chords and a message came through: ‘Ezra has arrived!’ It’s a kind of spiritual, talking about life, the beauty of the world and how the universe is waiting with open arms to receive all the dreams, hopes and desires of every young child.” Though Gardot “wasn’t convinced from the beginning that it would make the cut,” now she “can’t see the album without it.”
≡>       Jazz~pop singer~songwriter began writing and performing after sustaining critical injuries in a bicycle accident.            
Born: 02 February 1985 in New Jersey
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Album release: June 2, 2015
Record Label: Verve
Duration:     68:26 + 9:42 => 78:08
01. Don’t Misunderstand     4:41
02. Don’t Talk     4:12
03. It Gonna Come     5:31
04. Bad News     4:57
05. She Don’t Know     3:55
06. ““Palmas da Rua””     0:50
07. Same To You     4:29
08. No Man’s Prize     4:49
09. March For Mingus     1:02
10. Preacherman     6:17
11. Morning Sun     5:06
12. If Ever I Recall Your Face     6:52
13. Once I Was Loved     4:50
14. After the Rain     3:09
15. Burying My Troubles     7:46
16 Video A Look Inside the Studio with Melody Gardot     9:42

℗ 2015 Melody Gardot, under exclusive licence to Decca, a division of Universal Music Operations ltd.
Review by Thom JurekScore: ***½
≡>      On 2012’s The Absence, Melody Gardot made her first shift away from the jazz~tinged ballads that drew such heavy comparisons to Norah Jones and Madeleine Peyroux. Lushly orchestrated, it was chock~full of songs inspired by Brazilian, Latin, and French forms. On Currency of Man, Gardot takes on a rootsier sound, embracing West Coast soul, funk, gospel, and pop from the early ‘70s as the backdrop for these songs. It is not only different musically, but lyrically. This is a less “personal” record; its songs were deeply influenced by the people she encountered in L.A., many of them street denizens. She tells their stories and reflects on themes of social justice. It's wide angle. Produced by Larry Klein, the cast includes members of her band, crack session players — guitarist Dean Parks, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, Larry Goldings, the Waters Sisters, et al. — and strings and horns. The title track is a funky blues with a rumbling bassline, dramatic strings (à la Motown) and fat horns. Gardot uses the lens of Sam Cooke to testify to the inevitability of change: “We all hopin’ for the day that the powers see abdication and run/Said it gonna come….” First single “Preacherman” is similar, employing a wrangling, smoldering blues that indicts racism in the 20st century by referring to the violent death of Emmett Till, a catalyst in the then~emergent Civil Rights movement. A driving B~3, saxophone, and menacing lead guitar ratchet up the tension to explosive. A gospel chorus mournfully affirms Gardot’s vocal as a harmonica moans in the background. “Morning Sun” and closer “Once I Was Loved” are tender ballads that emerge from simple, hymn~like themes and quietly resonant with conviction. “Same to You” evokes the spirit of Dusty Springfield atop the punchy horns from her Memphis period, albeit with a West Coast sheen. The nylon~string guitar in “Don’t Misunderstand” recalls Bill Withers’ earthy funkiness. The song’s a groover, but it's also a warning to a possessive lover. “Don’t Talk” uses spooky polyrhythms (à la Tom Waits) as brooding, spacy slide guitars, B~3, and backing singers slice through forbidding blues under Gardot’s voice. “If Ever I Recall Your Face” is jazzier, a 21st century take on the film noir ballad with glorious strings arranged by Clément Ducol that rise above a ghostly piano. “Bad News” simultaneously looks back at L.A.’s Central Avenue and burlesque scenes. It’s a jazz~blues with a sauntering horn section, snaky electric guitar, and squawking saxophone solo. Vocally, Gardot is stronger than ever here, her instrument is bigger and fuller yet it retains that spectral smokiness that is her trademark. Currency of Man is a further step away from the lithe, winsome pop~jazz that garnered her notice initially, and it's a welcome one.
Artist Biography by Michael G. Nastos
≡>     The story of vocalist Melody Gardot is as remarkable as any who perseveres against abject adversity. Born in New Jersey in 1985, she took up piano and played as a youngster on the nightclub scene of Philadelphia, influenced by jazz, folk, rock, and pop music. At age 19 she was a fashion student at the Community College of Philadelphia. But, on a fateful day, while riding her bicycle, the driver of a Jeep made an illegal turn, hurtling into Gardot and leaving her in the street for dead. As she lay hospitalized for months with multiple head injuries and pelvic fractures, her love for music was the best therapy she could receive. While in her hospital bed, she wrote and recorded songs that would become the EP Some Lessons. Upon her eventual release from intensive care, Gardot found the strength and determination to further her career as an artist. Blessed with a beautiful voice and grand insight as a songwriter, her cognitive powers slowly but surely became pronounced, leading to the independent recording and release of her debut CD, Worrisome Heart, which was reissued in 2007 by the Verve label. Her music could be described as a cross between Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, Eva Cassidy, and Shania Twain, but goes deeper than mere pop convention. Gardot is hypersensitive to light and noise, thus she wears dark glasses, and uses a cane to walk. On~stage she requires a special seating unit, and wears a Transcutaneous Electro~Nerve Stimulator, a TENS device, to assist in alleviating her neuralgic muscle pain. As amazing as her story is, what is more evident is that she possesses a blue style and persona that reflect not only her afflictions, but conversely the hope and joy of making personalized music that marks her as an individual and original. Though touring is difficult, she has been performing in major cities on the East Coast to support her recordings. In 2009, working with producer Larry Klein and arranger Vince Mendoza — both known for their work with Joni Mitchell — Gardot followed up her Verve debut with My One and Only Thrill. Gardot returned in 2012 with her third studio album, The Absence, featuring production from guitarist/composer Heitor Pereira.
≡>     Gardot altered her musical direction when she returned to the recording studio. She reteamed with Klein, and focused on music strongly influenced by R&B, blues, and jazz in a set of original, socially conscious songs. Her first single/video, “Preacherman,” was inspired by the death of Emmet Till. The second, “It Gonna Come,” was released as a docu~video a week prior to the album. The full~length, Currency of Man, was released by Decca in June of 2015. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi ≡>  http://www.allmusic.com/
Website: http://melodygardot.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mgardot
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/melodygardot
≡>  http://fdrmx.com/melody-gardot-currency-of-man-track-by-track-album-review/

Melody Gardot — Currency of Man {Deluxe Edition, The Artist’s Cut}