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Loverly is Grammy-winning vocalist Cassandra Wilson's first album of standards since her 1988 album Blue Skies. The record is a tantalizing, rhythmically driven collection of classic songs given new luster with a top-drawer band that includes Marvin Sewell on guitar, Jason Moran on piano, Herlin Riley on drums, Lonnie Plaxico and Reginald Veal on bass, and Lekan Babalola on percussion, with a special guest appearance by trumpeter Nicholas Payton.
Track Listing 1. Lover Come Back to Me 2. A Day in the Life of a Fool 3. Wouldn't it Be Loverly 4. Gone with the Wind 5. Caravan 6. 'Til There Was You 7. Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most 8. Arere 9. St. James Infirmary 10. Dust My Broom 11. The Very Thought of You 12. A Sleepin' Bee
Cassandra WilsonOn the surface, the elements of Thunderbird, the inimitable vocalist Cassandra Wilson's seventh album for Blue Note, may seem familiar to those listeners who have embraced her past albums going back to 1993's Blue Light 'Til Dawn and the Grammy Award-winning New Moon Daughter. Pop songs, classic blues, folk ballads and jazz sensibilities all find common ground with Cassandra's honeyed vocals wrapped around them. But immediately upon first listen to Thunderbird, an entirely new dimension makes itself known. Primal, warmly intimate and extremely detailed in its nuances, Thunderbird is an aural delight to behold.A postmodern expression of roots music produced by the acclaimed T Bone Burnett (their first collaboration), Thunderbird does possess a very different sound: dense, humid, sensual, almost tactile. A sound characterized by live-on-the-floor performances accented by studio technology but still retaining their essential organic qualities. An acoustic bass line may play subtly throughout the track, then move into the foreground with sudden and dramatic impact. A lone slide guitar, intertwined with Cassandra's voice, can conjure the weight and density of a full band.Credit Cassandra with once again breaking free of familiar formulae and easy routes. Credit T Bone with Thunderbird's atmospheric magic and for assembling an exceptional supporting cast in sessions that took place between November 2004 through June 2005 at various studios in L.A. (Capitol, The Village Recorder, The Green Room, and T Bone's own Electro Magnetic) and New York (Dangerous Music)."You know, most modern recording studios are pretty much the same," Cassandra notes. "That is, unless you doctor them. I think great producers know how to do that, and T Bone Burnett is certainly in that group of great producers. He makes certain modifications that I can't really go into detail about, because I think they're secret. There are personal techniques that he uses in order to cater the studio, to get the sounds he wants to get."
With its Lerner & Loewe title track from My Fair Lady and its evening-gown-and-earrings CD-jacket portrait, Cassandra Wilson's latest suggests a retrenchment. So does its standards-heavy program. But this is a masterpiece in the old meaning of the term: a summation of everything Wilson has learned, from the in-depth interpretations of the jazz book through her hip-hop leanings with the old Brooklyn M-Base crowd, her breakthrough reconfigurations of the jazz-singer/band set-up with producer Craig Street, and 2006's techy-roots Thunderbird with T Bone Burnett. Producing herself this time, she emphasizes in-the-pocket grooves and the intimacy of her own lush contralto, up front in the mix, right near your ear, a slow velvet wave of rhythm floating in over fast beats. Every song, no matter how familiar, is transformed by one detail or another: the retro-swing up-tempo "Lover Come Back to Me," with Nicholas Payton's muted trumpet obbligato; the insistent single-note tattoo from pianist Jason Moran on "Caravan"; Marvin Sewell's acoustic guitar on the duet "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most"; the bass/vocal joint with Reginald Veal on "The Very Thought of You"; Sewell's perfect groove on "St. James Infirmary" and solo on Robert Johnson's "Dust My Broom." This is the greatest-hits album Wilson never made.
...Wilson is in top-form, always sounding quite loverly.
...her voice still regularly seduces.
Observer Music Monthly
Her voice, dark, nuanced and full of mystery, shows what a class act the singer has become.
...one of this enigmatic artist's most satisfying albums in a long time.
...her deep, husky, Malboro-burnished voice to breathe life intro hackneyed old showtunes.