Melissa’s next release in 2008 was Lullabies and Wildflowers (VMG, Universal), a sophisticated lullabies album inspired by motherhood, and made when Melissa’s first daughter was almost one year old. Inspired by classic songs from gentle folk to jazz, Melissa also wrote a song called “Gentle Child.” She sings an original song by her brother Mike, who also accompanies her on a deeply moving version of The Beatles’ Goodnight. This album continues to explore Melissa’s interest in finding a unique musical sound. In it, she blends traditional and unusual lullabies, creating a loving and evocative tribute to all mothers. Reviews called it soothing, serene and sensual, “a reflection on the journey of motherhood; most of the album has a jazzy feel with some pop influences and light tingles of gentle folk music. The songs sway with rhythmic care and gentleness like the rise and fall of calm waves” (Jordan Richardson).
In October 2011, Ghostlight Records released the long-awaited Legrand Affair – an exciting collaboration with multi-Oscar Award-winning film/jazz/pop composer Michel Legrand, one of Melissa’s musical idols, who conducted, arranged, and wrote new material for Melissa with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, produced by the legendary Phil Ramone. Melissa had starred on Broadway in Amour, Michel Legrand’s Broadway composing debut, and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. Legrand then wanted to work together on a solo CD of his music. It was recorded with a 100-piece pop symphony in Brussels, and a superlative jazz rhythm section of Steve Gadd and David Finck. In the winter and spring of 2005-2006, she gave sneak-peek concerts of this material at The Kennedy Center with The National Symphony (conducted by Marvin Hamlisch), solo several times at Joe’s Pub, Dizzy’s at Lincoln Center, and The Living Room, and on Smooth Jazz CD 101.9FM Radio. The release was delayed by the birth of Melissa’s three daughters, and was well worth the wait! The Wall Street Journal called it “spectacularly beautiful” and “one of the most essential vocal records of the decade.”
As a live concert singer, Melissa has sung on concert stages and intimate clubs with equal joy, from Avery Fisher Music Hall to Joe’s Pub, from The Kennedy Center Opera House to the Cafe Carlyle and Wolf Trap. She has won rave reviews for her appearances, and is often a favorite to perform at charity events and concerts nationwide, including her esteemed 2008 London debut at the Palladium Theater with The Royal Philharmonic. She is a regular at New York’s Symphony Space “Wall to Wall” series and City Center, and for many years has sung the National Anthem live on CBS at the US Open, at Madison Square Garden and around the world. In 2004, she played the Oak Room (with a five-piece band) at the Algonquin Hotel in a show called “Spring Fever,” featuring original and classic sophisticated rock standards by the likes of James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison and younger new songwriters like her brother Mike Errico, and pianist/ arranger Clifford Carter (James Taylor Band). In 2006 and 2008, she appeared at Joe’s Pub and in 2006-2007 for seven successful engagements at Birdland Jazz Club, where she freshly re-envisioned such songs as “I’ve Grown Accustomed to [His] Face” and Sondheim’s “Not While I’m Around,” “I Remember,” and “Move On.” In 2012, she did a week-long concert engagement at Feinstein’s/54 Below and was praised by The New York Times as funny, “blindingly glamorous” and in spectacular voice: “Melissa can take a sumptuous Broadway ballad to the moon and back” (Stephen Holden).
She debuted her new one-woman show, co-written with Adam Gopnik (The New Yorker) at The Public Theater in November 2015, titled “Sing The Silence” with original music written for her by Scott Frankel, David Shire and Peter Mills. It was inspired by Elaine Stritch’s At Liberty. Melissa continues to perform in both performing arts centers and intimate venues, including multi-night engagements at Joe’s Pub and a return to Feinstein’s/54Below. Her performance calendar can be located here.