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Belly Of The Sun Import

58 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, April 15, 2002
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Belly Of The Sun + Blue Light 'Til Dawn + New Moon Daughter
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

By now, it's a moot point whether Cassandra Wilson is singing jazz or not. By unifying what were once considered disparate styles and song forms with her languorously rich vocals and offbeat instrumental textures, she has become the queen of her own genre. Largely recorded at a one-time train station in her native Mississippi, Belly of the Sun ranges from country-blues great Fred McDowell's gritty "You Gotta Move" (popularized by the Rolling Stones and here featuring acoustic-guitar wiz Richard Johnston) to Brazilian immortal Antonio Carlos Jobim's winsome "Waters of March" (featuring a children's choir) to a hauntingly feminized version of Jimmy Webb's "Wichita Lineman." Revealing her command of narrative material, Wilson draws seductive meaning from Bob Dylan's "Shelter from the Storm" and the Band's "The Weight." Featuring Kevin Breit and Marvin Sewell on all manner of guitars and related string instruments, Belly of the Sun also boasts three strong Wilson originals, including "Just Another Parade," a jazzy-soulful duet with India Arie, and "Show Me a Love." As her own producer, Wilson comes up with less compelling backgrounds than Craig Street, who produced her darker-tinged breakthrough albums. Still, this is her most seamless, smoothest-flowing, and most effortlessly expansive recording. "I need to feel some rich black soil that's moist between my toes," she sings. You can feel her Southern roots in the grooves as well. --Lloyd Sachs


Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 15, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: April 15, 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Blue Note
  • ASIN: B000062U6N
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,518 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Karl Miller on March 26, 2002
Format: Audio CD
"Belly Of The Sun", Cassandra Wilson's tribute to the smoky bogs of the Bayou, is a cognitive heatspell that invokes the legend of Robert Johnson, protest music and 70's Southern California rock in a alltogether new style.
Cassandra Wilson is one of maybe three vocalists that could pull off a project like this. Her ethereal contralto has in the past been used to master complicated jazz classic and pop throwaways, but classics like Blue Lights Til Dawn and New moon Daughter only suggested how imaginitive Ms. Wilson could be in her reinterpretation of other artists materials. The Band's "The Weight" becomes more of a plea than an offer of assistance, and Dylan's "Shelter From The Storm" is an acoustic dream, completely different (fortunately) than the original. Again daring her crowd to rethink pop prejudices, (as she did in covering "Last Train To Clarksville), Ms. Wilson makes Jimmy Webb's "Wichita Lineman" a treasure. It is hard to beleive this is the same song that previously invoked images of rhinestone cowboys.
Again, Cassandra shows marked growth with her original music, and most of the self penned tunes on "Belly" are as worthy as the cover material. "Just Another Parade" is infectious and entertaining, and contributions by India.Arie to this song suggest that Ms. Wilson knows who, among her peers in the industry has legs, not just lungs. "Cooter Brown", another CW original simply smokes.
Many of these tunes sound as though there was a lot of love and laughter in the studio (actually a train station and some old rail cars in Ms. Wilson's native south). It is a tribute to Cassandra that this spirit has been captured in the recording. Light some candles on a rainy evening, put this in the CD player and kick back - and prepare to have your soul stirred, not shaken.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Sandy on May 17, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I discovered this by listening to the copy on display in my local store. From the first notes of "The weight" I was seduced by the organic arrangements and when she started to sing with this deep, warm voice, it was sold. This album sounds like a warm summer breeze. It makes you feel like slowly dancing in the sun.
It feels good to find some albums who keep away from electronic devices and stick to real, basic instruments: acoustic guitars, percussion, acoustic bass, piano.
I do not know if it is jazz, blues, or something in between. "Darkness on the delta" sounds piano bar, while songs like "The weight", "Justice", "Only a dream in Rio", "Wichita Lineman", "Show me a love" makes me think about Sade ("Love Deluxe" period). "Waters of March" is clearly jazzy. "You gotta move" is a blues, I can't help clapping my hands in rhythm. One of my favourite is "Just another parade", the acoustic guitar duet with India Arié (a great singer songwriter, check her "Acoustic Soul"). "Shelter from the storm" is folk. The album ends on an upbeat note with the short but nice "Hot Tamales".
I enjoyed this one so much I purchased one of her earlier albums, "New Moon Daughter" since, and I might look for more.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By ROGER L. FOREMAN on March 26, 2002
Format: Audio CD
But I should admit right up front to being a major Cassandra Wilson fan (along with Shirley Horn, Patricia Barber and Nnenna Freelon for female vocalists). I loved this disc at first listen. I snuck out at lunch time today to get it fresh off the presses, so to speak. I don't do that for many artists. . . .
I was struck again by Wilson's variety of sounds within a single album. She can take a very simple song and make it seem complicated with great instrumentation, or she can take a very complicated song and strip away all unnecessary aspects to reduce it to its purest form. She does tend to turn towards a more bluesy sound on this CD, as she has shown shades of doing in the past and as is explained in the liner notes. Great songwriters appear again: Antonio Carlos Jobim, Robert Johnson, Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Fred McDowell, and Wilson herself, among others. This diversity is her trademark and a major asset of her body of work.
Tracks 4 ("Waters of March"), 5 ("You Gotta Move"), 6 ("Only a Dream in Rio"), 9 ("Shelter from the Storm"), & 12 ("Road So Clear") reall jumped out as I listened through the CD this afternoon. I love her old, upright, vintage piano version of "Darkness on the Delta," although I wouldn't want twelve tracks like this. Her take on Robert Johnson's "Hot Tamales" is a great way to close the CD. She opens the disc with a familiar-ish sounding "The Weight," not venturing too far from territory covered on BLUE LIGHT 'TIL DAWN and BLUE MOON DAUGHTER. Classic Jobim on "Waters of March," classic old blues on "You Gotta Move," great alternate take of "Only a Dream in Rio," nice duet with India.Arie on "Just Another Parade," really different take on "Wichita Lineman" (who'd have guessed. . . ?
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By The Hammer on March 28, 2002
Format: Audio CD
If you're a Cassandra Wilson fan from the M-Base Collective days you won't find your previous expectations met. Her experiments are taking her more into songs than rhythms. But what singer wouldn't want to find out how far her voice can go? Thing is, few do so in recorded form, preferring to stay within their proven genres, afraid to risk alienating audience expectations. Well, if you're hungry for something beyond the franchise approach the music industry is so in love with, here's a step out. No other singer tackles more diverse material than Ms. Wilson without appearing to care what she'll get from it. Three albums ago she blew up Van Morrison's "Tupelo Honey" on Blue Light Til Dawn but instead of leaving the listener comfortably there in cover bliss, wrangled his head around a couple jazz tunes that leave no doubt it's not just a pop album you got in your hands. Then, with jazz creds in place, she put out New Moon Daughter, and in a similar I-don't-care-what-anybody-thinks move, made a Monkees song sound like what Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart must surely admit they'd never dared hope it could. At the risk of sounding only like any other dummy who can hear, all there is to say about this one is I wish I was as ready to risk the unusual at my job as she is at hers. Bravo.
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