Blu-ray Review: Melody Gardot -- Live At The Olympia Paris

This singer-songwriter's first-ever live video release captures the essence of her music perfectly.
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Throughout her career, Melody Gardot has mixed multiple musical genres with ease, effortlessly moving from jazz to pop/rock to blues to soul to funk. It is why her music is so hard to define, but also why her music is so exciting. By mixing familiar elements with different styles, she has managed to create something interesting and new. Her first-ever live Blu-ray, Melody Gardot -- Live At The Olympia Paris, offers ample proof of this singer-songwriter's many talents.

The stage is dimly lit and Gardot is clad in black, with a hat and sunglasses throughout the performance. This suits the music and adds an air of mystery to the performance. Fitting with that theme is the opening number "Don't Misunderstand." With its trippy, swamp-like groove and moody, sultry vocal, it is a fine opening to the proceedings.

Gardot straddles the line between jazz and rock on the rhythmic "Same To You." The track features a killer horn section and exotic instruments. Gardot takes to guitar for this number and provides some vocal stylizations before the band locks into a funk groove. Gardot's band is top notch and seemingly able to shift styles in an instant. Gardot shows off her vocal range with a soulful rendition of "She Don't Know," the band once again providing a tight groove for her to sing over.

On "Who Will Comfort Me," Gardot gives a strong vocal intro before giving way to the band and the song's tribal groove. Both here and throughout, this is difficult music to categorize as it borrows from many styles, but that is what makes it appealing. The band goes for more straight-ahead rock on "Preacherman" before launching into the set-closing "It Gonna Come," a song that showcases all the musicians and features a killer bass and drum intro. The crowd is completely into it and could have easily witnessed many more tracks, but it is always good to leave the audience wanting more.

The video is presented in 1080i High Definition 16:9 and well filmed. The show is dark, but that suits this music. Audio options include LPCM Stereo and DTS-HD Master Audio. The dynamics of the music are preserved beautifully on this disc.

Melody Gardot -- Live At The Olympia Paris is a fine first live video release from this talented artist. With a great song selection, a killer band and a legendary location, it is the perfect recipe for a great performance.