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New Moon Daughter
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New Moon Daughter
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A Blue Note essential, New Moon Daughter by Cassandra Wilson is part of the Blue Note 75 anniversary LP reissue campaign, featuring 100 titles. Key to the initiative is high quality audio at affordable prices. Also available this month on LP: Bud Powell's The Scene Changes, Dexter Gordon's One Flight Up, Donald Byrd's A New Perspective and Hank Mobley's The Turnaround.
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"Blue Light Til Dawn" is Cassandra's most acclaimed CD but "New Moon Daugher" is equally as good. I love them both dearly but "New Moon Daughter" is still my favorite. The material on this CD is just so damn strong. Plus it's got "Love Is Blindness" on it. Like I said before, I LOVE that song!
For those who don't know who Cassandra Wilson, she is a jazz vocalist who has performed in a number groups over the years, her most experimental being M-Base Collective led by saxophonist Steve Coleman. I think this is where she got much of her experience dealing with different kinds of music besides jazz.
"New Moon Daughter" finds her in very good company. Her band is remarkable and they are:
Graham Haynes, Lawrence "Butch" Morris (coronet); Tony Cedras (accordion); Dougie Bowne (vibraphone, drums, percussion); Charlie Burnham (violin); Gary Breit (Hammond B-3 organ); Brandon Ross (acoustic, electric & octave guitars); Kevin Breit (acoustic, resophonic & electric guitars, tenor banjo, Irish bozouki); Chris Whitley (resophonic guitar); Gib Wharton (pedal steel); Lonnie Plaxico, Marc Anthony Peterson (bass); Jeff Haynes (percussion); Cyro Baptista (percussion, jews harp); The Peepers (background vocals)
Wilson, like Diana Krall, surrounds herself with real jazz musicians that know the music. I can't talk about the music too much other than it's beautiful and will really take you a minute to soak in what just happened. There are many layers to discover each time you listen.
If you like Shirley Horn and Diana Krall, then I wouldn't see any reason why you wouldn't like Cassandra Wilson. She is a lot different than Horn and Krall musically, but her voice is just as silky smooth. I think with Wilson you really have to be just sit back and wrap your ears around all the beautiful sounds. Listen to this recording with headphones on so you can hear everything and it's more intimate.
Highly recommended to fans of jazz vocals. I don't really listen to jazz vocals that much, because I'm a bebopper, but I was able to really dig this. "New Moon Daughter" is by far one of her finest.
Cassandra has the voice of an angel, set to the rhythm of an all nighter on Bourban Street. Her ability to cross-pollinate musical genres into a cohesive overview of the art of singing reflects not only talent, but genius.
Her discs are about the only place that you would find a Hank Williams tune with a Monkees song, now that K-tel has gone out of business. And for the uninitiated, who think such a melange couldn't possibly work, there is a major surprise waiting.
Cassandra shines most brightly on a number of songs on this disc - "Strange Fruit", where she picks up the mantle of Ms. Holiday (and uses her inflection abilities to shape a different tune entirely, more like a dirge than an elegy), Love Is Blindness, a fine choice for her vocal chops, and Harvest Moon, which brings to mind a slow dance barefoot in a field of gold, as opposed to Neil Young's Converse clad original.
Like Ms. Holiday, but more importantly, like Abbey Lincoln, Cassandra's talents go far beyond interpretation. Her originals on this album show tremendous warmth and tunefulness. "Solomon Sang", with it's bare bone accompaniement, should be required listening for poseur jazz modernistas. Likewise, "Until" is a beautiful song, and a great exhibition of Cassandra's singer/songwriter skills.
I've played this CD hundreds of times since I purchased it, and I never grow tired of it. It's a study in quiet understatement and fine instrumentation. And it features the voice of the most important jazz singer of our times.