Melody Gardot's The Absence


Melody Gardot
The Absence
Verve Records
Producer: Heitor Pereira
Score: 9 out of 10

By Dawna Kaufmann


She’s been compared to Joni Mitchell, but I can’t recall Mitchell being as unabash- edly sensual as Melody Gardot is on her third LP. At 27, the NJ-native writes with the wisdom of an old soul; she plays jazz guitar and piano; she croons in multi-octaves, in English, French and Portuguese; she purrs, she growls, she makes up sounds you’ve never heard, but now can’t live without. Gardot has said that she wants her song, “Mira,” to have all the kids in Brazil dancing, but why should they have all the fun? This is world music for everyone. Heitor Pereira, a busy Tinseltown composer and ex-Simply Red guitarist, produced this LP and when their voices blend together on “Se Vôce Me Ama,” well, you’d better have a working smoke alarm.