472

Cassandra Wilson: Thunderbird

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Cassandra Wilson: Thunderbird 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 with nothing but Colin Linden's acoustic guitar alongside Wilson's searing vocal. It's lovely, traditional, and quite different from most of the program. She's at her best with soliloquies such as this one.

Blind Lemon Jefferson wrote "Easy Rider, and Wilson sings it as a tribute to the roots of blues in general. She begins with a low moan and builds this piece into a fierce weapon. A definitive high point, this emotional arrangement helps to make Thunderbird a success. "Lost, interpreted alone with Marc Ribot on guitar, is a lovely ballad that allows her to share heartfelt joy with her audience.

Willie Dixon's "I Want to be Loved is portrayed in contemporary blues form with Wilson's unique vocal delivery. Keb' Mo' and Colin Linden add hot guitar licks that drive this one passionately. The memorable lyrics take on special meaning when she takes charge. "Strike a Match forms an exotic union between jazz and blues, forging ahead with one of her more creative performances. The singer's charismatic vocal interpretation engulfs you with its mystic power.

Thunderbird is not Cassandra Wilson's best album. However, she remains a unique voice in jazz and blues, persevering and continuing to surprise us with fresh ideas.


Track Listing: Go to Mexico; Closer to You; Easy Rider; It Would Be So Easy; Red River Valley; Poet; I Want to be Loved; Lost; Strike a Match; Tarot.

Personnel: Cassandra Wilson: vocals, guitar; T-Bone Burnett, Keb

Title: Thunderbird | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Unnatural  Events CD/LP/Track Review Unnatural Events
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by James Nadal
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Clean CD/LP/Track Review Clean
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2017
Read Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations CD/LP/Track Review Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 15, 2017
Read "Reunion – Live From Cafe Oto" CD/LP/Track Review Reunion – Live From Cafe Oto
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 5, 2017
Read "(Five) Stories Untold" CD/LP/Track Review (Five) Stories Untold
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "Manhattan EP" CD/LP/Track Review Manhattan EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 2, 2017
Read "Poetry from the Future" CD/LP/Track Review Poetry from the Future
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 30, 2017
Read "Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Volume 1
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Of Sound Mind" CD/LP/Track Review Of Sound Mind
by Budd Kopman
Published: September 30, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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