Gretchen Parlato – The Lost and Found

First few listens of Gretchen Parlato’s The Lost and Found didn’t quite sink in. Parlato has a tiny, breathy, whispery, slurry voice and the music is all over the place ranging from r&b to pop to post-bop. Paying closed attention, however, the album is a rare gem. Parlato isn’t just a singer. She uses her voice as an instrument to engage with her vigorous rhythm section, which made up of pianist Taylor Eigsti, bassist Derrick Hodge and drummer Kendrick Scott. On the hypnotic reinterpretation of Wayne Shorter’s “Juju,” her voice floats like ghost passing through glass alongside tenor saxaphonist Dayna Stephens. On Lauryn Hill’s “All That I Can Say,” she rides the groovy r&b beat with grace and effortlessness. With poetic lyrics, beautiful melody and sleek beat, her original “Still,” co-written and duet with guitarist Alan Hampton, is no less impressive. The Lost and Found showcases not only Parlato’s stylistic versatility, but also her ethearal sensibility.