All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

164

Lizz Wright: Dreaming Wide Awake

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
Lizz Wright's sophomore release is a great production of songs impeccably crafted, both soul-rending originals and poignant renditions of pop classics. Wright, who more or less emerged as a professional singer after she debuted with a 2002 series of tribute concerts to Billie Holiday, continues to demonstrate exquisite taste.

As good as the songs, instrumentation, playing, and production are on Dreaming Wide Awake—and they are all quite good—Wright's allure is ultimately all about her voice. Somehow this luminous voice bridges the gap between the secular blues confessionals of Tracy Chapman or Joan Armatrading and the spiritual gospel confessionals of Anita Baker. Yes, this voice is that good.

Wright's voice leads a core band of keyboardist Glenn Patscha, bassist David Piltch (Holly Cole, k.d. lang), and Seal sidemen guitarist Chris Bruce and drummer Earl Harvin. Guest musicians on this set include guitarist Bill Frisell and Marc Anthony "Chocolate Genius Thompson; it was produced by Craig Street, who should certainly know his way around the genre from his previous productions for Cassandra Wilson, k.d. lang, Holly Cole, and most recently Norah Jones (Come Away With Me).

Wright shapes her interpretations into reflections upon herself through the looking glass of others' lyrics, and let this considerable voice shine through. For openers, "A Taste of Honey as urgent and dark and sweet and liquid as a stolen midnight kiss, and leading into a gorgeously melancholy reading of Joe Henry's "Stop ; profound folk meditations on the Youngblood's "Get Together and Neil Young's "Old Man, poured from Wright's smoldering soul into brooding blues. "I'm Confessin' serves as her confessional, but swings more lightly in the tradition of jazzy blues.

Full of mystery and wonder, Wright's original material swims these same spiritual depths. She moans the blues with strong echoes of Chapman to "Hit the Ground, openly wonders how to find the strength to overcome "Trouble, then gives thanks to her guiding muse in the title track, yet she softly and colorfully twirls like a little girl through rootsy, Al Green-ish soul in "When I Close My Eyes.

The sound of a solitary soul seeking communion, the thoughtful Dreaming Wide Awake would be a great gift for a young woman on the threshold of adulthood.

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).

Title: Dreaming Wide Awake | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Verve Music Group

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Working Out to Jazz
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Grace

Grace

Concord Music Group
2017

buy
Freedom & Surrender

Freedom & Surrender

Concord Music Group
2015

buy
 

Fellowship

Verve Records
2010

buy
 

The Orchard

Verve Records
2008

buy
 

Trouble

Verve Records
2005

buy
 

Hit The Ground

Verve Records
2005

buy

Related Articles

Read Displaced Diaspora CD/LP/Track Review
Displaced Diaspora
by Chris May
Published: October 19, 2018
Read In Real Time CD/LP/Track Review
In Real Time
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 19, 2018
Read Freebird CD/LP/Track Review
Freebird
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2018
Read The Dream Thief CD/LP/Track Review
The Dream Thief
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 19, 2018
Read Heuristics CD/LP/Track Review
Heuristics
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2018
Read Subtle Disguise CD/LP/Track Review
Subtle Disguise
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 18, 2018
Read "End To End" CD/LP/Track Review End To End
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 30, 2018
Read "Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh" CD/LP/Track Review Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 24, 2018
Read "Cooking Groove" CD/LP/Track Review Cooking Groove
by Jim Olin
Published: July 15, 2018
Read "You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl!" CD/LP/Track Review You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl!
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 18, 2018
Read "Electroradiance" CD/LP/Track Review Electroradiance
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 1, 2018
Read "Never Bet The Devil Your Head" CD/LP/Track Review Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 9, 2018