Jazz. It's a frightening word for someone that's been weaned on rock, pop, R&B, country and/or hip-hop. For God's sake, it's nearly as scary as classical. But fear not. Jazz can be your friend. I know that at times it seems overly complicated and tough to get your head around, especially that free-jazz improvisational stuff. Or at others, jazz seems utterly boring and uncool. (Sorry Kenny G, I'm writing about you and your smooth-jazz spawn here although I hear you're a great golfer.) Yet I'm here to tell you that jazz has its place in life and you can find it to be quite enjoyable if you play the right music to fit the right mood. It can also help you overcome adversity. As evidence, I now present Melody Gardot and before I give you some information on her background I invite you to enjoy this soothing little number titled "Baby I'm A Fool" from her acclaimed new album, My One And Only Thrill. Not only is the music sweet, but those who have a soft spot for sexy librarian types soaking in a bathtub filled with bubbles, surrounded by dancers in top hats and bowties, will find this video most enjoyable.
Ms. Gardot has the most remarkable story. It's a tale that demonstrates the healing power of music and a triumph over adversity. When she was a 19-year-old fashion student at a community college in Philadelphia, Gardot was knocked from her bicycle and left in the street by a hit-and-run driver in a Jeep. While recuperating for a year from multiple head and back injuries and pelvic fractures, Gardot turned to music as therapy in the hospital. She wrote and recorded songs from her hospital bed.
"Music is the thing that saved me," she told Chrissy Iley of The Sunday Times. "It's the thing that gave me purpose. In my mind it made me walk. It gave me the dignity of being a human being who could do something, and we all need purpose. If nothing defines your character, nothing gives you the ability to wake up in the morning. I think we can easily lose the passion to exist, and then it becomes hard to wake up, hard to go to sleep. So in that sense, music has become my priority. Music is my love. Probably the greatest love of all for me. Men are just my lovers."
Wow. I'm not really sure how to follow up that quote, but I can tell you that Ms. Gardot can sing out of the bubble bath as well. Check out this performance of Gardot's "Worrisome Heart," the title track from her 2006 album, record live in Paris. While you're watching that clip, let me know if you're down with jazz or if you'd rather submerge yourself in a bubble bath than listen to that stuff.
As far as I can tell, Madison Bloodbath has absolutely nothing to do with Ms. Gardot, other than the fact that she's featured in the bath in her video and the blokes in this band use that word in the second half of their name. Not only that, Madison Bloodbath are considerably noisier than Gardot, but that doesn't mean they're any less special. Take a listen to "The Truth About Donkeys" below, and if you like it, you can right click and hit "save as" to add it to your digital music collection. If you really like it, look for the band's album, Gittin Loose With Madison Bloodbath on ADD Records.