Gretchen Parlato is one of the most closely watched and creative contemporary musicians making their mark on the national and international jazz scenes. At times, Parlato can seem to be singing simply in the language of the human body, pointedly rhythmic but weightlessly melodic in a way that evokes the heart beating, or blood flowing. Parlato’s latest effort, The Lost and Found, out this month, is a wide-ranging compendium; she had a hand in writing two-thirds of the songs – from the gauzy “In a Dream,” co-written with Robert Glasper, to Wayne Shorter’s tumbling post-bop classic “Juju,” which she let some air out of and gave lyrics, to five tunes written by Parlato alone.
At Bohemian Caverns this weekend, Parlato played a two-night run with her band: Taylor Eigsti on Rhodes and piano; Alan Hampton on bass, guitar and vocals; and Mark Guiliana on drums. The band was a centripetal force as much as Parlato, and listeners wrapped themselves in the groove.
According to a number of accounts, the vibe was among the best this subterranean hotspot has seen in recent memory. And that’s saying something. “What I was most surprised at was how many people knew her songs and gave audible recognition, even for those on the album that just came out,” said Patrick Jarenwattananon, the NPR Music jazz writer who caught Saturday’s second set. He noted the show’s “really diverse, even young-skewing audience.” Photographer Jati Lindsay was on hand both nights to capture the scene.
Photos by Jati Lindsay