On February 20th, the exquisite cultural contributions of living legend Nancy Wilson were celebrated citywide by her hometown of Chillicothe, Ohio in commemoration of her 80th birthday. Experimental soul artist Melanie Charles honored her as well with an eloquent tribute of her own. A two-sided reimagination of the honoree’s classic “How Glad I Am,” a jazz standard written by Jimmy Williams and Larry Harrison, proves to be a gift for us all. The Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter, producer and flautist, who also goes by the name D’flower, fuses R&B, jazz, Haitian folk and funk to create interpretations both fan bases will treasure.
A sonic consideration of love affairs fueled by varied, heavy doses of emotion, Melanie’s renditions are the lead singles from her forthcoming project, The Girl in the Green Shoes. “Side A,” self-produced and featuring a sample of Manchild‘s “Especially For You,” rocks us gently between funky, throwback vibes and Nancy-esque scats. Swarvy’s production on “Side B” creates a haunting electronic soul journey where Melanie’s vocals float and echo delicately. Both versions are new translations – edgier life forces that elevate the original while maintaining faithfulness to the foundation.
Melanie’s unique perspective on the intersection of classical jazz and electronica music shines brightly during the “How Glad I Am” video. A fun journey of simple profiles and camera tricks, Melanie takes viewers through the song’s moody response to romantic turmoil. Pacing, daydreaming and drastic hair style changes are phases of love we’re all familiar with. You won’t mind connecting with Melanie’s spin.
Make some time to take in Melanie Charles’ “How Glad I Am” suite of audio and video below. Keep up with her on Twitter, Instagram, SoundCloud and her official website for details on her pretty prestigious one-woman shows and updates on The Girl in the Green Shoes.