No Plan · Gretchen Parlato · Mark Guiliana · David Bowie

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In 2001, Parlato became the first vocalist ever admitted to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance. The panel of judges included Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, and Wayne Shorter. Two years later she moved to New York City. In 2004 Parlato won first place in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition. The panel of judges included Quincy Jones, Flora Purim, Al Jarreau, Kurt Elling, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Jimmy Scott. The following year she independently issued her self-titled debut. The band included pianist Aaron Parks, guitarist Lionel Loueke, and bassist Massimo Biolcati performing a program of American standards, iconic bossa novas, a medley of Wayne Shorter’s “Juju”/”Footprints” (with lyrics by Parlato), two tunes by Loueke, and a cover of Björk’s “Come to Me.”
That year, Parlato also appeared on Terence Blanchard’s Blue Note outing Flow, and began a bumper-crop career as a featured guest vocalist. Over the next two years she toured and appeared on records by Loueke, Gregoire Maret and Sean Jones. 2008 Parlato appeared on bassist Esperanza Spalding’s debut and pianist Kenny Barron’s The Traveler. The floodgates opened; since then, Parlato has appeared as a collaborator and guest on dozens of recordings. 
In 2009, Parlato delivered In a Dream, her sophomore album and her debut for ObliqSound. The cast included Loueke and Parks, bassist Derrick Hodge, and drummer Kendrick Scott. Parlato arranged seven of the set’s ten tracks. It appeared on year-end publications’ and critics’ best-of lists and was also selected by NPR’s music staff as one of 2009’s best jazz albums. In 2010, the singer appeared on Spalding’s Grammy-winning Chamber Music Society project.

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