If you were to draw comparisons to Frank Sinatra in terms of dynamics and subtone -- or Chet Baker in terms of cool -- you wouldn’t be far off the mark. Parlato's voice -- scatting, cooing, leaning back, then soaring --can leap through complex tempo and rhythmic shifts as if riding rapids. With her musical sensitivity, she has pushed boundaries of the traditional role of a jazz singer.
I had the pleasure to catch her in New York in January and meet her in the very unglamorous setting of a ladies bathroom right before she went on stage. Not being particularly well versed in the jazz world, I was totally mesmerized by her silky smooth voice, and by the playful interaction and banter between herself, the band and the audience throughout the show as she was received throughout like an indie rock starlet!
If you’re looking for an experiential Wednesday night to get you over the hump, get to the show early and grab a bite to eat and drink from Zanzibar, followed by the smooth tones of Gretchen, and I guarantee you will feel the midweek blues melting away…
The door open at 8 pm. Tickets are $16 (858-534-TIXS and at the door).
Elizabeth Bradshaw is the "curator" at the Loft at UC San Diego.