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When: Sun., April 15, 6 p.m. 2012
Price: $20
Los Angeles vocalist Gretchen Parlato stands apart from typical jazz singers in a couple ways. She produced her third and most recent album, last year's The Lost and Found (ObliqSound), with pianist Robert Glasper (who plays on one track), and the instrumental portion of the music borrows his lean, R&B-influenced approach, with tightly coiled grooves and taut funk flourishes. On top of that Parlato downplays the usual techniques—scat singing, flashy displays of virtuosity, lots of improvising—in favor of an understated delivery. She gently insinuates the melodies in her precise, nasal tone, whether deftly navigating the lyrics she wrote for Wayne Shorter's "Juju"—at one point she thrillingly nails a high note in unison with guest saxophonist Dayna Stephens—or subtly and slowly reshaping the title phrase of "Better Than" with each pass, so that it gathers force as she repeats it. For this gig she's supported by her empathetic working band: pianist Taylor Eigsti, bassist Alan Hampton, and drummer Kendrick Scott. —Peter Margasak


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