The headline of Melody Gardot's MySpace page reads simply: "Modern-day dame." It's a statement that sums up her music, style and personality in a way that many peers her age (just 23) may not have achieved fully for themselves.
'Worrisome Heart' is a finger-snapping, soul-stirring, jazzy album that has garnered acclaim from critics and music lovers. It's a feat that might be unexpected from a woman who has been pursuing music professionally for just three years.
Gardot walks and stands with a cane, wears dark glasses and uses earplugs due to a near-fatal car accident in her late teens. But seeing her and listening to her music, none of that defines who she is as an artist.
The cane becomes an accessory of glamour. The glasses become a trademark of style. And her voice purrs and soars for the appreciation of everyone within earshot.
Gardot has panache in every way. While recording 'Worrisome Heart,' here's how she explained the sound she wanted: "I remember standing in the recording booth and saying to the horn guys, `Can you make it sleazier?' They said 'Yeah! Sleazy, man, that's cool!'
"It may not have been the most musical way to put it, but they knew exactly what I meant!" she laughs.
'Worrisome Heart,' which features 10 Gardot-penned tunes, isn't what most people would think of as sleaze - it's elegant, with feeling and just enough brashness to intrigue. But if it is, it's sleaze with style to burn. Listen to the title track and you'll understand.
Melody Gardot.com *** MySpace *** CD's *** Hype Machine
Singer-songwriter Melody Gardot adds the beautifully smoky vocals and throwback glamour showcased on 'Worrisome Heart' to the Sundance Channel's acclaimed original music series "Live From Abbey Road" on June 26th. She joins other world-class artists performing at the world-famous studio with 2008 Album of the Year winner Herbie Hancock, including Wayne Shorter, Vinnie Colaiuta, Corinne Bailey Rae and Sonya Kitchell.
Having already earned praise from critics and peers, Gardot will undoubtedly win over new fans when they see her performance with Hancock, who considers her to have an "exquisite voice and the apparent spirit of perseverance." Gardot, now 23, experienced a near-fatal car accident at age 18 and turned to music as part of her therapy. Surprisingly, she has only been performing professionally for the past three years. Her selection by an artist of Hancock's stature speaks volumes about her vocal talent and sophistication.
Watch Gardot with Herbie Hancock on "Live From Abbey Road" Thursday, June 26th at 10:00pm EST.