Though this year’s Grammy nominations in jazz are without any Earth-rippling surprises à la last year’s new-artist breakthrough by Esperanza Spalding, L.A.-born singer-songwriter Gretchen Parlato could’ve been considered a solid bet to follow in her footsteps if ours was the sort of world where lightning could strike twice.
Though Parlato’s 2011 album, “The Lost and Found,” was overlooked by the Recording Academy, it was a fixture on many best-of lists at the end of the year, including Rhapsody’s inaugural Jazz Critics’ Poll (formerly hosted at the Village Voice). Touching on a similarly eclectic lineup of influences that includes elements of pop, funk and Brazilian music, the record could sit comfortably next to Spalding’s “Chamber Music Society,” led by Parlato’s lilting voice and a sharp band given ample room to shine. And like the record that helped break Spalding to a national audience, hers isn’t a typical jazz recording.
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