On the new album, she interprets the works of the Beatles. I reviewed the excellent album back in February. Miriam Di Nunuzi (Chicago Sun-Times) interviewed Roberta this month:
Question: Were you a big Beatles fan growing up?
Roberta Flack: I still am. I was a teacher for a part of my life, and when I was ready to move away from the classroom the Beatles were very inspiring musically for me. Songs like “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Love, Love Me Do,” all those early songs. It was new. We were all singing them. To hear musicians from England singing those [rock and roll] songs!
Q. How did their music inspire you?
RF: It was prophetic in a way. How could these young guys who I couldn’t relate to, because I’m from Black Mountain, North Carolina, be so inspiring? For some reason, I could relate to the music but not the four young boys from England. I found something in the songs that I could interpret vocally. It began to really live inside of me. That they had the ability as young songwriters to really say something with music to all people was inspiring. It was amazingly mature, sincere, right on the money. All good songs are that. I studied classical piano for years, so I’m very moved by great melodies.
Q. You really experimented with Beatles’ melodies for this album.
RF: Their music was very complex and simple at the same time. You can get caught up in the melody of “Let It Be,” and that can be something that plays over and over in your mind. But for me it was the combination of the melody and the words that challenged me. It represented something other than what people had heard over the years, without doing something clever.
And Cheryl Wills interviews her for NY1 -- link is a little text and video.,
If you haven't heard the album yet, you should really give it a chance, it's one of the year's finest albums.
Closing with C.I.'s "