1. Don’t Misunderstand
2. Same To You
3. She Don t Know
4. Bad News
5. March For Mingus
6. Morning Sun
7. Les Etoiles
8. Baby I’m A Fool
9. Who Will Comfort Me
11. It Gonna Come
Melody Gardot has chosen a Parisian venue of choice, the august Olympia, for her first DVD. With a brass section, organ, guitar – to which she adds her own
stylish guitar and piano playing – and drums she has a full backing within which to serenade her audience.
The nature of the serenading can be artful or intense and the funky patterns of Same To You definitely fall within the latter category, not least
because of a storming and stormy tenor sax solo. The Jazz Soul inflections of her instrumental backing – they’re well drilled to a man – offer Gardot a
patter-into-parlando introduction to She Don’t Know at the end of which the lighting rig is focused solely on the striking singer, complete with
scarf around her head, black shades, fedora, skinny black trousers, and leather coat. The slow burning blues riffs of Bad News, on which Gardot
straps on her easy rider, are accompanied by a voluble tenor solo though because the mic is stationed directly over the bell, it means that the tone
suffers. Sitting at an upright piano for March for Mingus, appropriately accompanied by an upright bass, she includes parlando in French in a very
theatrical, even knowing way.
But her rapport with the audience is spellbinding – an effect not wholly replicated by a moment where one of the saxists stuffs two saxophones into his
mouth in clear emulation of Roland Kirk. The Gospel cum Nina Simone inspiration on Morning Sun seems clear enough, Gardot’s vibrato taking on a
somewhat insistent edge, whilst Les Étoiles is another attractive French-language chanson, where muted trumpet, bass clarinet and acoustic guitar
bring out plenty of fine accompanying figures and make the band sound larger than it truly is.
Wa-wa trumpet gets on down on Who Will Comfort Me – I wish there had been more trumpet solos and fewer sax ones - and this lively invigorating
number prefaces Preacherman where, surprisingly there’s a very brief moment of picture break-up. The cooking outro is the encore, It Gonna Come, with all the band members namechecked and the audience – quite rightly – on their feet. Gardot is one of today’s most elusive yet
understatedly charismatic singers – influenced as much by pop mainstream as by jazz as by Parisian confessional and chanson and Motown. She serves up this
gumbo as only she knows how. Good camera work (in the main) allows one to enjoy her in the ‘intimacy’ of a filmed concert.