410

Cassandra Wilson: She Who Weeps

By

Sign in to view read count
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 end, the music becomes fiery yet ethereal. Rod Williams on piano, Kevin Bruce Harris on electric bass and Tani Tabbal on drums combine their energetic playing for some ecstatically spirited sounds.

On Billy Strayhorn’s “Chelsea Bridge” she sings freely over Williams’ piano, Reggie Washington’s electric bass and Mark Johnson’s drums, unraveling the endless dimensions of that intensely saturated palette she culls so easily from deep within.

The spastic drum machine of “Out Loud” enhances the poignant guitar chords in the title track. Slow and concentrated Jean-Paul Bourelly casts an undulating rhythm around Wilson’s soothing vocals. She keeps time with a shimmering smash of a tambourine.

The wave crests at track 6, “Body And Soul,” as Wilson and Williams voice the melody together. They build the momentum until it breaks and falls into a swinging plateau of changing tempos, broiling bass lines and existential vocals.

Seven tracks, 40 minutes, all adorned with vivid panache and breezy flare. An effortlessly consumable disc, there’s no reason why She Who Weeps should incite any tears at all. In fact you might even come away a little bit happier.

Visit Winter & Winter on the web.


Track Listing: 1. Iconic Memories 2. Chelsea Bridge 3. Out Loud (Jeris' Blues) 4. She Who Weeps 5. Angel 6. Body and Soul 7. New African Blues

Personnel: Rod Williams: Piano; Cassandra Wilson: Vocals; Jean-Paul Bourelly: Guitar; Herman Fowlkes: Bass; Kevin Bruce Harris: Bass; Tani Tabbal: Drums; Reggie Washington: Bass; Mark Johnson: Drums.

Title: She Who Weeps | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: JMT Productions


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Hear & Now" CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "The Elements" CD/LP/Track Review The Elements
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: August 25, 2017
Read "Left Right Left" CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Art in the Age of Automation" CD/LP/Track Review Art in the Age of Automation
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "The Beautiful Day" CD/LP/Track Review The Beautiful Day
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 6, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.