Lizz Wright: Dreaming Wide Awake (2005)
The disc kicks off with an imaginative, deep blues reinterpretation of the schmaltzy classic "A Taste Of Honey that seems to have altered the very DNA of the song. Wright also turns in an effective performance of Neil Young's "Old Man with backing vocals by Marc Anthony Thompson (aka Chocolate Genius). She seems so in sympathy with the song that the prospect of her covering other Young compositions becomes, if not obvious, than certainly intriguing. I can imagine her tackling "Only Love Can Break Your Heart or "Birds, and they would fit just fine.
Another standout is "Hit The Ground, composed by Wright with Jesse Harris and Toshi Reagan. The stirring soul ballad sounds inevitable in exactly the right way. The backing vocals are angelic and perfect. It is absolutely a track to build on.
Dreaming Wide Awake is an exciting album from a fresh talent. This is a publication devoted to jazz, and so it should be noted that the album is jazzy rather than being jazz per se. However, that caveat should not discourage anyone looking for music of impeccable taste and deep feeling. Wright is an artist worth watching.
Visit Lizz Wright on the web.
Track Listing: A Taste Of Honey; Stop; Hit The Ground; When I Close My Eyes; I'm Confessin'; Old Man; Wake Up, Little Sparrow; Chasing Strange; Get Together; Trouble; Dreaming Wide Awake; Without You.
Personnel: Lizz Wright; vocals; Chris Bruce; guitars; David Piltch; bass; Earl Harvin; drums; Glenn Patscha; keyboards, backing vocals; Bill Frisell; guitar (tracks 1,9,11); Jeff Haynes; percussion (tracks 1,4,9); Patrick Warren; keyboards (tracks 4,8,11,12); Greg Leisz; guitar (tracks 2,6,7,12); Marc Anthony Thompson aka Chocolate Genius; harmonica, backing vocals (track 6); Toshi Reagan; vocals (tracks 3,9).
Record Label: Verve Music Group