Cassandra Wilson Lincoln Center Out of Doors August 8, 2014 New York, NY Playing before an outdoor capacity audience, Cassandra Wilson performed a concert to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of Blue Night 'till Dawn (Blue Note, 1993), featuring many of the musicians who originally performed on the studio version. Wilson kicked off a soulful rendition of You Don't Know What Love Is" with incredible subtlety, feeling every verse deeply while the musicians played with incredible feeling. The audience was mostly silent, something that almost never happens at ...read more
Vocalist Cassandra Wilson is known for her genre bending interpretations of jazz and pop standards, though Silver Pony represents a bit of a departure. The liner notes explain that she worked on it during a personal crisis and also was returning to her musical roots. There are studio tracks recorded in New Orleans, mixed with live tracks from Spain, with many of the same musicians. Silver Pony starts with a staccato, pulsing arrangement of Lover Come Back to Me," recorded at a concert in Granada, with a less arch, earthier approach, that continues throughout the disc. No ...read more
Brilliant in spite of its ragged texture, Cassandra Wilson's Silver Pony justly illuminates the important influence Wilson has had on all jazz vocals, since her artistic breakthrough with 1993's Blue Light 'Til Dawn (Blue Note). A sharp solution of live and studio performances, Silver Pony reveals the depth and breadth of both Wilson's enigmatic singing and instrumentation, that rich Delta organic approach disseminating throughout all of jazz vocals of the past 20 years. Always close to the blues, Wilson puts forth an extended live Saddle Up My Pony," originally recorded by Charlie Patton in 1929, that succinctly frames her earthy ...read more
Any vocalist who can take an old chestnut like St. James Infirmary" and make it swing and crackle like never before, as Cassandra Wilson did on the wonderful Loverly(Blue Note, 2008), is surely something a bit special. Wilson's ability to make old material sound freshly minted is nothing new however, and Closer to You: The Pop Side isn't a quickly recorded cash-in on the cross-over appeal of Loverly, but a compilation of very personal interpretations of popular songs she has recorded over the years.
What's striking about this compilation, is just how much of a blues singer Wilson is at ...read more
One of the eminent jazz singers of this time, Cassandra Wilson's deep timbre is as unmistakable as it is alluring. Her acumen as a musician, her voice an exquisite instrument and the way she interprets and arranges songs--uniquely filled with soul and emotion--would set her in the upper echelon of singers regardless of genre. From roots in Mississippi, where she began playing music at the age of five to her involvement in the advanced music theories of M-Base with saxophonist Steve Coleman and a growing body of diverse work, she continues to press onward. Following her second ...read more
Cassandra WilsonThe EggAlbany, New YorkMarch 22, 2009
The music has a wonderful life beyond the recording," said renowned singer Cassandra Wilson about the music on her Grammy-winning CD from last year, Loverly. She spoke those words just days before her band made a tour stop at The Egg concert venue in Albany, NY, on March 22.
It continues to grow and evolve. Really special and interesting things are happening with this project," she continued.
She was right, of course.
The band tore through a lot of the material from ...read more
The deep, rich voice of Cassandra Wilson, now among the most exalted of jazz vocalists, is something to savor. She has an adventurous spirit when it comes to her music, and whether playing with original melodies, or turning others songs--of jazz, folk, blues or pop origin--inside out, it's always something to relish, like a fine brandy that can be felt sweetly burning down to the stomach then spreading the glow back up where it can be felt warming the ears.
Wilson's latest recording released over the past summer, Loverly (Blue Note, 2008), is a delicious treat, ...read more
When Cassandra Wilson played New York's Blue Note Jun. 9th, she let her band jam a long time before she stepped into the heavy mix of groove and musical jest among the instrumentalists. The room was sweltering because of the day's heat and the seemingly absent air conditioning, but Wilson never broke a sweat. Wilson always stands at the center of the musical tempest (hot syncopation, cool blues, or breezy harmonization) as it swirls around her and on her new CD--Loverly, released at the club that night--the musical storm is both a step back (it's a standards album) and a ...read more
Over the last two decades Cassandra Wilson has emerged as one of the most celebrated jazz singers in the world--and with one album a year since 1985, she also ranks as one of the most prolific. Because of her openness to experimentation with grooves and repertoire, Wilson's work over the years has expanded our definition of what vocal jazz is--and perhaps in some ways has called into question whether vocal jazz has any defining characteristics at all.The through line to Wilson's work is the masterful application of her profoundly resonant voice to whatever musical undertaking lies before her, ...read more
Days 1-3 | Days 4-5 | Days 6-8 | Days 9-11
Cassandra Wilson/Christian Scott Sextet James Carter Quintet/Jean Vanasse and Miroslav Vitous Mory Kanté Festival International de Jazz de Montréal Montréal, Quebec, Canada July 4-6, 2008
With the demise of one of Montreal's most famous clubs, Le Spectrum, the 29th edition of Festival International de Jazz de Montréal utilized the nearby Place des Arts more considerably. Specfically, the 765 capacity Théâtre Jean- Duceppe was used more extensively to house shows that used to play in the 900-seat, ...read more
Cassandra Wilson's Loverly is amongst the singer's most straight-ahead and stripped down albums since her debut for Blue Note fifteen years ago with Blue Light 'Til Dawn (Blue Note, 1993). Self-produced, and recorded in a rented house in her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi with little artifice, simple arrangements and a great sound, Wilson and a core quintet of regular playing partners deliver ten standards, Robert Johnson's Dust My Blues," and one band original, the West African-derived Arere."
Wilson hasn't sounded this good for some time--elegant, unforced and buoyant. And in the rhythm. Most of the tracks are underpinned ...read more
Jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson reached the fulcrum of her career with the refreshingly organic Blue Light 'Til Dawn. Her releases before this 1993 Blue Note debut, including M-Base Collective collaborations in the 1980s, were warmly received if not completely inspired. With Blue Light, Wilson changed her creative paradigm, performing older and more eclectic music in a ferociously rustic and transmogrified manner. This spirit infused Wilson's next four Blue Note recordings, highlighting her expansive vocal palette. With the release of her sixth Blue Note recording, Glamoured, ten years later, the singer recalibrated her creative paradigm by composing a greater share of ...read more
Cassandra Wilson sings blues the way they should be interpreted. For her latest album, she adds a little pop and hip-hop to the formula, reminding us that jazz and blues both started out as popular music of the day. Programmed drums and a mechanical rhythm appear side by side with Wilson's earthy vocals as she interprets an eclectic program of originals and blues classics.
Hip-hop ambience, multitracked voices, a techno-dance beat and mesmerizing rhythms color Go to Mexico, Closer to You, It Would Be So Easy, Poet and Tarot. However, Red River Valley appears in its purest form ...read more
The timbre of Cassandra Wilson’s voice is like an opal—incomparably beautiful, deliciously pearlescent, graceful, rich, and eternally strong. On She Who Weeps, originally recorded in 1990 and rereleased last January, lyrics bare little importance. The descriptive quality of words takes a back seat to Wilson’s innate ability to instantly create an atmosphere and strike emotional chords merely by spreading her lips and exercising her larynx.
The disc starts off with a romp through Wilson’s own composition “Iconic Memories.” The slight reverb on her voice contributes a sort of sonic aura to the sound, and when vocal overdubbing emerges at the ...read more
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