But there's something about Melody Gardot that makes her stand out. Way out.
It's not her remarkable backstory: Gardot only began making music as a form of therapy, after a horrific cycling accident confined her to a hospital bed for a year. Neither is it her wacky on-stage antics, her Buddhism, razzle-dazzle glamour, nor 24/7 sunglasses.
Across three albums, 2008's Worrisome Heart , 2009's My One and Only Thrill, and 2012's The Absence Melody Gardot has always toyed with the vanilla Smooth Jazz format, and this playfulness is what distinguishes her from her peers. Gardot spices her creamy American jazz with world music: fado, flamenco, African chanting, bossanova. She describes The Absence as a musical voyage "through the deserts of Morocco, the tango bars of Buenos Aires, the beaches of Brazil and the streets of Lisboa”. This taste for the exotic, evident on record, becomes, at times, overpowering in performance. Last time she was in London, she treated us to Inuit throat singing.
Gardot's latest, blusier album, Currency of Man is to be released in June, so expect a selection of old and new tracks at her EFG London Jazz Festival performance. Though, she'll probably transform them all unrecognisably. In typically outlandish style, Gardot released hundreds of false bank notes from a rooftop in Carnaby Street to celebrate the album. Prepare yourself for theatrics this November.
|What||Melody Gardot, Royal Festival Hall|
|Where||Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Embankment (underground)|
On 17 Nov 15, Doors 19.30pm
|Website||Click here to book.|