Recommended by Andrew Hamlin
Last time I caught Sara Gazarek here in town, at the Triple Door, I thought I knew what she was about: warm, elegant jazz vocals caught up in ever-novel and stimulating arrangements. Boy was I wrong! She was all about warm, elegant jazz vocals caught up in ever-novel and stimulating arrangements, but she sang high, she sang low, she sang heartbreak, she held notes for mystifying lifetimes. She dropped beats, added intros, swirled songs into medleys, blew notes out like candles, and let them die away like sustain-pedaled tones from Josh Nelson’s piano. Her new album with Nelson, Dream in the Blue, is this year’s best album. Gazarek is already the best, and she just keeps getting better.