June 17, 2024
Cassandra Wilson
Blue Note – 2008
Sounds of Timeless Jazz

LOVERLY is Cassandra Wilson’s exceptional new CD on Blue Note. She dusts off 11 great standards and captures the relaxed nature of the recording sessions via her sultry, smoky vocals and the in-the-pocket playing of her world class ensemble that includes her longtime bassist and musical director Lonnie Plaxico, Jason Moran on piano, Herlin Riley on drums, Marvin Sewell on guitar, and Lekan Babalola on percussion. “Arere,” an original penned by Wilson and her band members and inspired by the Yoruban deity of iron and willpower, is led by the arousing African beats of percussionist Lekan Bablola.

Wilson sings in a West African dialect and does an amazing job on this rhythmic gem. The song brilliantly connects Wilson to the African drumming patterns so often heard in the Jazz, World and Blues genres. “Dust My Broom,” a Robert Johnson original made famous by such guitarists as Elmore James and Eric Clapton, is like an old friend who has come to visit – glad to see them and even happier when you find that the same grit and rhythmic intensity you knew back when is still smoldering deep within. T

hat is how Cassandra Wilson sings and Marvin Sewell plays this song – with scorching intensity and the bluesy, grit inherent in the sakara rhythm heard in this song.  “The Very Thought of You,” is a duet with bassist Reginald Veal and it works well. Wilson’s stark, simple take on this great love song feels very intimate and personal because of her sexy, relaxed phrasings and tone.

The ideas presented on this CD will delight you, entertain you and definitely endear you to the remarkable voice of Cassandra Wilson.

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