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Everybody Should 'Really Care' About Melanie Charles

Melanie Charles
MEREDITH TRUAX
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Melanie Charles

Melanie Charles makes a fine art out of flipping scripts. Whether she’s turning jazz on its head by dropping heavy beats for the dance floor or calling out the injustices in the music industry, this all-around talent is making sure her voice is heard with her new album on Verve, Y’all Don’t (Really) Care About Black Women.

Finding one descriptor for Charles' creativity falls short. She’s a singer, a dancer, a composer, a multi-instrumentalist, a producer, an engineer — and perhaps most paramount, a dreamer. One big dream was realized in her first album, The Girl With The Green Shoes, which features mostly original compositions. For her follow-up, she flips the script again by sampling the history of powerful black women in jazz, and putting her own imprint on classics by Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Betty Carter, and more. Here is her take on Marlena Shaw’s "Woman of the Ghetto."

On The Checkout, we delve into her fascinating upbringing in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and how she became a “renaissance woman,” as she's often described today. You won’t want to miss her album-release party at Public Records in Brooklyn on Wednesday.

For more than 15 years, Simon Rentner has worked as a host, producer, broadcaster, web journalist, and music presenter in New York City. His career gives him the opportunity to cover a wide spectrum of topics including, history, culture, and, most importantly, his true passion of music from faraway places such as Europe, South America, and Africa.