Sometimes I search for great music. Other times, it finds me- low lights, plush couches and a powerful voice. So was the case when I first heard jazz artist Melanie Charles at New York City lounge Nublu. It was one of those Friday evenings when my girls and me needed to recharge our spirits. Charles was warm and funky and soulful.
And she has a band. Come on; tell me that a good bass isn’t sexy every once in a while.
The Brooklyn native just released her first album Introducing Melanie Charles & The Journey*. It is a charming exploration of womanhood and self-discovery, love and love loss. “Unfamiliar” is a soothing ballad of new love and intrigue where Charles blends strong vocals with sweet piano melodies. She doo-wops an earnest plea to a lover on “Make You Stay ”.
As a student at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, Charles has performed with legends, including Wynton Marsalis and Clark Terry. Yet, she effortlessly infuses her classical jazz training with neo-soul and reggae vibes. “ “Need You” ft. Ras Sherman is the perfect example.
It would be cliché to compare Charles to other artists. The jazz influence is undeniable. Still, I can’t help but imagine myself in a cozy corner café when I listen to her music. Charles’ vocal elegance is the perfect soundtrack for summer.
Great music, great weather. What else does anyone ever need?
Watch Melanie Charles perform live at SOB in New York City: