Eva Cassidy gave it her all. With her crystal-clear voice and passion-filled arrangements, she adopted a broad audience. While this first album by Cassidy is quite different from her later recordings, it elucidates that special quality in her voice and temperament that came to be recognized far and wide. Ten rock and blues anthems – composed by Method Actor’s lead guitarist and pianist, David Christopher – make a comfortable session that’s easy on the ears. The dramatic poise in Cassidy’s voice makes each track shine brightly. Her multi-tracked background vocals, as well, provide exceptional examples. Cassidy’s interpretation of “Stay,” for instance, warms the heart through its genuine spirit. “End the Rain” and “How Will It End” provide a dramatic rock anthem feeling that can stay with you all day long.
The Washington, D.C.-based band Method Actor was founded by Christopher in 1987. They broke up three years later. That’s when Cassidy, then 27, pursued her solo career in jazz, soul, funk, blues, folk and rock. She was only 33 when she died of cancer (metastatic melanoma) in 1996, leaving behind only a handful of recordings.
Method Actor contains two previously unreleased bonus tracks: “Little Children” and “The Waiting is Over,” both of which were recorded in 1989.
Cassidy’s vocal interpretations on this debut album provide universal appeal. Each rock and blues anthem on Method Actor leaves something special for all of us to remember her by.
Track Listing: Getting Out; Look In To My Eyes; When It
Personnel: Eva Cassidy- vocals; Jim Campbell- drums; Kenn-Torb-Fiester- bass; David Christopher- acoustic
guitar, electric guitar, keyboards; Ned Judy- keyboards; Tom Copeland- horns on
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.