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Touched By A Musical Angel: Meeting And Hearing Melody Gardot In Person…

May 1, 2009

itunes_logoMelody Gardot’s new album “My One And Only Thrill” at #13 on iTunes Best Selling Albums List!!!!  Check it out here:


She came on the darkened stage unannounced and alone from behind the closed curtains with cane in hand,  a slight limp and stiletto high heels.  The brim of  a black fedora sat on her ever present darkened glasses; as her lush golden hair cascaded out from underneath it.  Wearing black tights that outlined her great figure she proceeded to sit down on a dusty mat and began pounding out a beat with one hand while holding a microphone in the other.  With the stage still darkened she sang a capella to her beating hand.  It was a stunning yet subdued entrance that was reflected throughout her entire performance at the City Winery In New York.

Stunning and subdued were her vocalizations, her piano and guitar playing, her arrangements and her band.  Many times she and the band could have gone for more flash and cheap thrills but instead they remained subdued and in control.  In doing so they pulled the audience in to listen to them on their own terms; on her own terms and,  in the process, she delivered a level of musical sophistication and maturity that was both pure and stunning.

dv2093016In macrobiotics, someone is considered to have great taste if they can enjoy and be fully satisfied by only a simple bowl of brown rice.  Melody delivered that simplicity with her music.  She also gave a balanced meal of rich warm vegetables, side dishes, and other wonderfully satisfying and nourishing fare.  There were no sugary highs,  no junk food and no other imbalanced extremes.  It was just simple and pure healing food for weary souls over-indulged on the excesses and extremes of fast-food music.

old_coca_cola_adJust as the world has become addicted to fast food, junk food, sugar,  sodas and other massed produced food, we’ve become addicted to the cheap thrills of bigger, louder, faster, more range and more noise music.  It’s as if each new musical sensation were being pushed on to us like some new exotic drug by some profit driven machinery.

mtv-logo341241-red225This addiction has been accelerated by MTV and the selling of Michael Jackson, Madonna, Mariah Carey and Britney Spears.  It continues today with cookie-cutter mass producing pop machines like Disney, American Idol and other shows.  Lost in all of this is the essence of real music which nowadays can only be found in local home grown night clubs around the country and also, thankfully, on YouTube.  But even on YouTube, original artists, who rarely get more than a few thousand views, are far and few between and are not immune when discovered and can get caught up in the same pop making cookie cutter machinery, like the transformation of Esmee Denters under the wing of Justin Timberlake who is, himself, a product of that machinery.

verve_logoAll of this predictability has made Melody Gardot a God-Send; an angel sent to deliver us from the fast food hype of  musical mediocrity that becomes old and tasteless after one sitting. She gives us music that we will never grow out of, and that can feed us for the rest of our lives like all great food and music should.   Fortunately for us, she has been appropriately recognized by and signed on Verve Music Group, the leading jazz label whose catalog boasts the biggest and timeless jazz names in history.  Check out her music video “Baby I’m A Fool” ! While the world remains addicted to the chemical, hormone-fed factory-farmed, artificial hype of TV talent shows, there is a very small, quiet, and divine counter-balancing force bringing us a macrobiotic musical angel for relief and her name is, appropriately, Melody.

susan-boyleAt this time in musical pop culture where more than 100 million have been inspired by 47 year-old Susan Boyle by being a wonderful singing talent on “Britain’s Got Talent” despite her modest appearances, it is still all part of the hype  and is a distraction from recognizing and appreciating real music.  I know that you know that there are and have been so many very famous and fabulous singers even better than Susan Boyle who have been rightly recognized for their vocal and musical talent regardless of their appearance.  These include singers like Ella Fitzgerald, Patti Labelle and Aretha Franklin and so many more.  Melody is not only a great singer AND a great musician, songwriter and performer,  she also happens to be incredibly beautiful too. In other words, the whole fiasco of Susan Boyle, even though she deserves recognition, is really irrelevant (as are these ficticious TV talent competitions) in the face of appreciating real music where appearances make no difference and competition really has no place.

I am not an expert on music, yet music has always been a part of my life ever since I was little, mostly thanks to my sister and to the wonderful people and community that I grew up with. While growing up in the heart of the macrobiotic community it has always seemed to me that macrobiotics and great music always went hand in hand.  Some of the world’s greatest musicians have been influenced or touched by macrobiotics at some point in their lives.  These include:

  1. Miles Davis
  2. Stan Getz
  3. Gary Peacock
  4. John Lennon
  5. John Cage
  6. John Denver
  7. Barbara Streisand
  8. Bonnie Raitt
  9. Madonna
  10. Sting
  11. David Bryne
  12. Kenny G
  13. Jeff Lorber
  14. Charles Neville and The Neville Brothers
  15. Coldplay

and so many more…and now… Melody Gardot!

I was introduced to Melody and her music about a year ago by Jamie Travena, founder and manager of the excellent online resource, “The Macrobiotic Guide” who directed me to her article “Ten Ways To Make Macrobiotics Work For You”.  I found some YouTube videos of her and was greatly impressed.  She sang and played the kind of music  that I love.  I unashamedly admit to being subjective and biased for someone who both writes, sings and performs the kind of music that I love and also eats the foods that I love too.  I know that not everyone appreciates the style of music that Melody plays just as not everybody appreciates a simple bowl of brown rice and natto (a/k/a “Yoda Snot“).  I was thrilled to find out that, just like me, she loves traveling with brown rice balls.  She also has learned how to make sushi rolls on her lap while speeding in a cab on the way to the airport to fly to her next venue.  I love Melody and her music.  To say that I am a fan is an understatement. Thanks Melody, you’re an angel!

We took this photo for you, Jamie Travena! (Photo by Jim Brown - He regularly operates $50,000 cameras with $100,000 lenses but didn't know where to push the button on my iPhone camera)

We took this photo for Jamie Travena! (Photo by Jim Brown)

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Peter Pilafian permalink
    May 3, 2009 1:46 pm

    Phiya –

    Thank you so much for the enlightening words about Melody Gardot, who somehow was unknown to me until I read your review. What a gift! I am immediately a big fan, perhaps because we share not only a belief in the purity and beauty of the human spirit, but a strong romantic streak as well!

    And your blog site, which I have only just visited, reflects a grace and strength and a love of life, which can only make the world a better place, as you continue to spread the word.

    Keep up the good work, and the good writing!

    -Peter P.

  2. María permalink
    May 25, 2012 5:40 pm

    Inner/outer Beauty is appreciated in all levels of consciousness, enlightens the soul, elevates the spirit and purifies all that it touches.

    When this Beauty comes in the form of sound waves, we are specially touched because our being have the tendency to balance our own waves to the ones we are exposed to and if there is balance between boths we feel literally “in Heaven”.

    To be able to appreciate and value what we are tuned with and not judging what we do not agree with, I mean showing unconditional respect, it is a gift, and a sign of good Health too.


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