Melissa Manchester is one of the greatest female vocalists of all time. Her velvety, soulful voice is unmistakable, and I always look forward to new music from this immensely talented songstress. More than 25 years after Melissa Manchester released Tribute, her 1989 album that honored the great female singers who influenced her, she turns the tables with The Fellas, a radiant encomium to the men, including Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé, Tony Bennett, and Dean Martin, and the iconic songs they made famous. The Fellas is available everywhere on September 8.
This album is the Grammy award-winning superstar’s 21st, and it’s one of her most infectious and intoxicating musical offerings to date. From the outset, I was blown away by the full, vibrant arrangements that permeate this record. The beautiful music is courtesy of the 40-piece Blue Note Orchestra, a collection of students, alumni and faculty from Citrus College, the suburban Los Angeles university where Manchester is an honorary artist in residence. Their presence on this album can’t be overstated – they’re fantastic!
The song that resonates most with Manchester is “Smile,” written by Charlie Chaplin. She unerringly pays homage to Nat “King” Cole’s heartbreaking interpretation. “The longevity of the song is undeniable, the poignancy of the message is so touching,” she said. “As a performer, a woman, a human being, you’re so frequently on the stage and people don’t know what’s going on in your life, yet you smile and keep going.”
ABOUT MICHAEL CAVACINI
Michael Cavacini is an award-winning communications professional and writer, as well as a music, film and literary journalist. He’s an alumnus of Temple University, where he received both his B.A. and M.S. in communications and graduated magna cum laude.
Michael’s blog consists of everything arts and culture and his content has reached more than one million people in 145 countries. You’ll find posts about music, movies, books, writing, poetry, and his humorous supermarket stories.