Melanie Charles continues to cause a stir in the lead-up to her upcoming album Y’all Don’t (Really) Care About Black Women. The collection will find her reimagining songs made famous by Black female icons — including Marlena Shaw, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Abbey Lincoln, Dinah Washington and others. We’ve already gotten a preview of what’s to come with her take on Shaw’s “Woman Of The Ghetto.” Now we get another listen with her taking on Sarah Vaughan‘s classic tune “Detour Ahead.”
Melanie’s version, retitled “Detour Ahead (Reimagined),” opens with a sample of Vaughan singing the song from a live recording. After showing us the beauty and elegance that Sarah brought to the song, Melanie flips it into her own. Her version is more experimental, playing with tempo and arrangement. The sound bed consists of pieced together sections of melody, direct samples of the original, piano, crashing drums and the softest hint of flute. They all frame her soulful, jazzy vocal as she breathes new life into the 73-year-old jazz standard, taking it into the new era.
“‘Detour Ahead’ is one of the tunes that always has helped me get through moments of uncertainty and disappointment,” Melanie Charles said of her decision to include the track on her album in a statement. “In March 2020, I bought a Polaroid camera not knowing that this camera would capture one of the greatest challenges my community of friends, family, and world at large has ever experienced. The images tell the story of how the pandemic pushed us to ‘wake up and slow down,’ as Sarah beautifully sings. This flip allowed me to proclaim in harmony with Sarah, ‘oh lucky me that suddenly I saw the light,’ a sonic and visual journey honoring our resilience in the midst of life’s many detours.”
Y’all Don’t (Really) Care About Black Women will arrive on October 22nd via Verve Records. Listen to “Detour Ahead (Reimagined)” when you press play.