Melody Gardot & Philippe Powell

Biography Melody Gardot & Philippe Powell

Melody Gardot & Philippe Powell

Melody Gardot
With Worrisome Heart, her brilliant first album in 2008, the young American Melody Gardot (born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 2 February 1985) put everyone in agreement, as was the case for a certain Norah Jones in 2001. A jazz singer, the young woman with the predestined name has come a long way. It was during her long convalescence from a serious accident that she laid the foundations for her music. Her second album, My One and Only Thrill, was one of the best-selling jazz albums of 2009. Her next album, The Absence (2012), has a new Latin flavour. Three years later, Currency of Man sees the singer adapting her fragile, hazy voice to historical soul. A live album recorded during a European tour was released in 2018, before the release of Sunset in the Blue two years later, a return to jazz in the form of covers of standards and original compositions.

Born on February 2, 1985 in New Jersey, Melody Gardot grew up in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), where she was quickly introduced to music and singing. A fan of Duke Ellington, The Mamas and the Papas and Radiohead, Melody became a club singer in the Philadelphia area when she was only 16.

Then tragedy struck. At the age of 19, while out on a bike ride, she was hit by a car and left for dead. The young singer, then a student in fashion design, narrowly escaped death but suffered significant damage to her brain and spine, which obviously generated many symptoms (muscle pain, motor problems, extreme sensitivity to light and noise).

Her doctors advised her, among other things, to use music therapy. Melody Gardot tried writing and composing from her hospital room, where she stayed for many months. The results were quickly convincing. The young singer recovered the memory she had lacked, and her writing and composing increasingly impressed those around her. The challenge was met.

In 2005, Some Lessons - The Bedroom Sessions was released, a mini album (six tracks) that made this dream come true, made possible by the will to get by through music. Between jazz, folk and pop, Melody Gardot shows her obvious talent. At the end of 2006, her first album was released in the United States (before being released in France on 24 March 2008). Worrisome Heart (Verve Records) received critical acclaim and was a commercial success in the United States. Produced with Glenn Barratt, Worrisome Heart impresses with its maturity.

Melody Gardot, like everyone else, had to defend her album on stage. But the difficulties (she sings sitting down, with a pair of sunglasses to protect her eyes) make her tours complicated and tiring. After touring the east coast of the United States in 2007 and 2008, the now world-famous singer set about writing her second album. My One and Only Thrill, released on 28 April 2009 and featuring 'Baby I'm a Fool', was a critical and public success.

The Absence, the jazz pop diva's third album, was released on 28 May 2012. This new opus introduces new Latin flavours to her repertoire with the first single "Mira". Three years later and with as much mystery in her voice as in her preparation, Currency of Man sees the singer working again with producer Larry Klein and a team of seasoned musicians and arrangers. The album, which revisits gospel and funk-tinged soul, such as the singles "It Gonna Come" and "Preacherman", addresses socio-political issues without forgetting the smooth ballads for which Melody Gardot is known.

Philippe Powell
is a Brazilian pianist, born in Paris on 5 April 1978. Pianist, composer and arranger, Philippe began studying music at the age of 7, focusing firstly on classical music, then, under the guidance of his father, Brazilian guitarist Baden Powell, on harmony and improvisation.

He has also studied with Antonio Adolfo, Edson Elias, and Luiz Avellar and participated in several master-class sessions including those of US pianists Lynne Arriale and Kenny Werner. Philippe made his debut as sideman accompanying such artists as Flora Purim and Airto Moreira, as well as Maria Bethânia and singer/actor Seu Jorge (Cité des Dieux, Life Aquatic).

In 2005, he was awarded 3rd prize at the Montreux Jazz Piano Solo competition and in 2006 recorded his first album, Estrada de Terra/Dirt Road with the New York label Adventure Music, which received very favorable reviews in the press and notably in Downbeat Magazine which gave it a 4-star rating.

His music is at once rooted in the Brazilian tradition and open to other musical cultures, notably jazz and classical music.

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