On July 23, 2011, the world lost one of the greatest singer-lyricist of our time, Amy Winehouse.
Soul, jazz, R&B and hip hop, Winehouse infused it all with her own unique sound. But who influenced Winehouse’s music? Over the next few days TWM will look at the artists whose influence can be seen in her life and work. Chaka V.
Jazz giant Thelonious Monk’s 1944 “Round Midnight” turned out to be a defining musical moment for a then 14-year-old Amy Winehouse. During her showcase in Other Voices: Amy Winehouse – The Day She Came to Dingle, Winehouse talks passionately about hearing Monk’s famous composition for the first time.
“I just remember the first time I ever heard “Round Midnight” through the wall [of her older brother’s room]. I was just like, ‘What is that!’ I’ll never forget that. I still remember hearing it.” While his influence on Winehouse would extend far beyond this one song, “Round Midnight” is where it all began.
Monk’s “Round Midnight” has been re-interpreted by legendary musician – Dizzy Gillespie – after legendary musician – Miles Davis – and it is considered the most widely recorded jazz standard of all time. But Winehouse reinterpreted it unlike any other, infusing its moody sensual sound with lyrics about desire and longing – emotionally and sexually. By transforming the song once again she in turn fully displayed her gift for re-interpretation, a gift that was as rare and fantastic as the artist herself.