Melanie Charles’ Reimagination of Sarah Vaughan’s “Detour Ahead” Is an Ode to Resilience

Charles’ album of reimagined classics, Y’all Don’t (Really) Care About Black Women, arrives October 22.

Next month, Brooklyn-based artist Melanie Charles will be releasing her major-label debut Y’all Don’t (Really) Care About Black Women via Verve Records, which interpolates familiar classics from jazz and blues singers including Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dinah Washington into brand new compositions expanding upon those original versions. The latest sample of the record arrives today with Charles’ reworking of the late-’50s Sarah Vaughan track “Detour Ahead,” which opens with a minute-long sample of a live version of the tune before opening up into a synth and percussion-heavy—though equally smooth—take on the piano-accompanied track, featuring a couple unexpected beat changes to match the shift from Vaughan’s version at the beginning of the tune. 

“‘Detour Ahead’ is one of the tunes that always has helped me get through moments of uncertainty and disappointment,” she explains of her choice to include it on the new record. “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.”

Hear the track below, and pre-oder the full album here.


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