Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Jazz Spotlight

October 23, 1994|Zan Stewart

1/2; CASSANDRA WILSON, "After the Beginning Again" ( jMT ) **

Recorded three years ago before her crossover success with "Blue Light 'Til Dawn," the vocalist reveals two elements that are sorely lacking in her current phase: vitality and variety.

The album is balanced by the slow tunes like "Redbone" that dominate both her live show and her "Blue Light" album, and necessary upbeat numbers.

Of the former, "Baubles, Bangles and Beads" is a surprising winner, with Wilson--ever the stylist, never the traditionalist--mixing pointedly flat pitches with notes that are right on, all at a sultry crawl. "Redbone," done with just percussion accompaniment, gives a hint of where the singer has headed, into a folk-country groove with no hint of jazz. In fact, Wilson often sounds like folk-bluesman Richie Havens in the way she speaks notes at first, then rounds them out into fuller tones.

Peppier, and refreshing, are "My Corner of the Sky," which includes crisp scat sounds, and "There She Goes," which has a thack-a-whack beat. Both are boosted by the resounding piano work of James Weissman.

Still, even in 1991, Wilson was an acquired taste.

New albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), to four stars (excellent).

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|