First Listen: Jessican Medina reimagines Amy Winehouse classic

(April 6, 2019) Amy Winehouse’s time in the public eye was relatively brief. However, the power of her vocal instrument along with the quality of her music ensured that her legend and impact would live beyond her too brief 27 years. Falling victim to the 27-year-old curse did not hurt her legend - even as it robbed her family and friends of her presence and left the music world wondering what might have been. 

Winehouse did leave us with the music, and artists have responded by honoring Winehouse through original works or through interpretations of the Amy Winehouse songbook. Jazz vocalist Jessica Medina takes the latter path on a re-imagining of Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” that draws upon her jazz chops, her bi-lingual background and her love of Afro-Peruvian music.      

(April 6, 2019) Amy Winehouse’s time in the public eye was relatively brief. However, the power of her vocal instrument along with the quality of her music ensured that her legend and impact would live beyond her too brief 27 years. Falling victim to the 27-year-old curse did not hurt her legend - even as it robbed her family and friends of her presence and left the music world wondering what might have been. 

Winehouse did leave us with the music, and artists have responded by honoring Winehouse through original works or through interpretations of the Amy Winehouse songbook. Jazz vocalist Jessica Medina takes the latter path on a re-imagining of Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” that draws upon her jazz chops, her bi-lingual background and her love of Afro-Peruvian music.      

Medina’s producer on this song with her producer is soul and jazz vocalist ABIAH, and she could not have selected a better collaborator to put a unique spin on the work of a legendary female vocalist. Abiah’s most recent project found his reinterpreting the Nina Simone songbook. His percussive remake of Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Go To Do It” is one of many highlights on his excellent album Bottles.

That Afro-Latin staccato propels Medina’s remake of Winehouse’s classic. The production contrasts that percussive rhythm with a Spanish guitar while Medina’s jazz influence vocals that stretch and move in and around the tune’s melody are a highlight throughout. Check it out here.

By Howard Dukes

Jessica Medina - "Back To Black"

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