First Listen: Nicole Henry loves "Your Smiling Face"

Share this article

    (November 27, 2021) When it comes to interpreting songs that is a part of the American popular music canon, there are a couple of ways to do it. An artist can opt for a straightforward honest rendition, or an artist can totally flip and reimagine the tune. Nicole Henry has shown over the course of her career that she is adept at both. However, when Henry decides to place her stamp on a cut, she really finds a way to make that tune her own. That’s how you end up with a rendition of Bob Marley’s “Waiting In Vain” that absolutely swings.

    (November 27, 2021) When it comes to interpreting songs that is a part of the American popular music canon, there are a couple of ways to do it. An artist can opt for a straightforward honest rendition, or an artist can totally flip and reimagine the tune. Nicole Henry has shown over the course of her career that she is adept at both. However, when Henry decides to place her stamp on a cut, she really finds a way to make that tune her own. That’s how you end up with a rendition of Bob Marley’s “Waiting In Vain” that absolutely swings.

    Henry is in peak creative form on her new album Time to Love Again. She hits us with a jazz/funk version of Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed,” and a percussive and funky interpretation of the Rodgers and Hart standard “I Didn’t Know What Time it Was” (I mean, who saw that coming?). Her take on Sade’s “Is It a Crime” is masterful. He relaxed version of “Midnight at the Oasis” is infused with a percolating mid-tempo groove that oozes sensuality.

    Henry returns to the work of the great singer/songwriter James Taylor on this album with her rendition of “Your Smiling Face.” Henry’s straight forward take on “Fire and Rain” was one of the highlights of her live album So Good, So Right.

    Henry transforms Taylor’s song, which was one of the definitive examples of soft rock in the 1970s, into a mid-tempo R&B cruiser with just a hint of jazz. It definitely helps that Henry is simpatico with a band that is topflight and can move with her from jazz to R&B and funk without missing a beat. Check out “Your Smiling Face” here.

    By Howard Dukes

    Nicole Henry - "Your Smiling Face"

    SOCIAL MEDIA CONNECTS
     
    Choice Cut - Sargent Tucker - "Good Music"
    Album of the Month - Joan Belgrave - "Oooo Boy"