It was a magical moment. Â I was urged to “..give this CD a chance…it’s pretty good…”. Â I put it in the CD player and had that funny feeling in my stomach. Upon closing my eyes I felt transported to a jazz club–granted I’ve never been to one–and felt the room had gotten dark and smokey. Â All of a sudden I hear the sultry vocals of Melody Gardot and I was in love. Â As I made my way through the ten tracks on her first full length album, “Worrisome Heart” I couldn’t move. I wanted to take it all in without any interruptions. Â I’d never experienced 30 minutes pass by so effortlessly as I nodded along, tapped my foot and hummed along to songs I’d never heard before. Â
The journey to get to WORRISOME HEART is quite a story. Â People (myself included) often find it hard to believe that this woman was once disabled after being struck by a jeep while riding her bike. Â Gardot was only 19 at the time and spent months in bed unable to do much. Â You could say one of the attending physicians is to thank for Melody’s career in music. Â This doctor believed music would help her brain injury improve as in the past music had been known to produce great results in improving one’s cognitive skills and ability after a great trauma like Melody’s.
She followed his advice, and this led to her first EP, “SOME LESSONS – THE BEDROOM SESSIONS” that were recorded while she still couldn’t walk. Â One thing led to another and the EP started to receive some play on local Philadelphia station WXPN (where Norah Jones had received some early airplay). Â People were talking–about how great the music was, but also about what had happened to her and how amazing it was that this record came from a woman who was practically bed ridden.
Hearing the record is one thing–a mix of jazz and pop with some bits of folk and blues as well, it can’t really be pigeonholed into one thing. Â I like to think it’s a great anytime record–put it on if you’re having a cocktail party, if you’re having a cup of coffee and reading the Sunday paper, when you’re happy, when you’re suffering from heartbreak…doesn’t matter. Â If you’re fortunate enough to have a chance to see her live, I’d take advantage of it. Â Earlier this year I had a chance to see her, in an intimate setting (the best way in my opinion…I’m not sure she’d translate as well in a huge venue like Madison Square Garden…) being mere feet away from the stage. Â It was one of those nights where I was sitting in my seat and kind of misty eyed the entire show.
So this album isn’t exactly new (it came out in March), BUT it has a place in my favorite albums of 2008. Â I just feel bad for not sharing her with you earlier. Â I’ve played this record countless times and friends have asked if I was listening to Norah Jones or Fiona Apple–while I can say I hear bits and pieces of these women in Melody, she has a sound like no one else. There seems to not be one type of person that likes this record—it truly is a record for everyone I’d like to think. Â Maybe it’s that last minute holiday present for a friend–or a last minute treat for yourself. Â Trust me on this one–it’s worth every penny of your money and every second of your time to listen (over and over again.)