January 25, 2003 |
Cassandra Wilson started it. If that sounds accusatory in a finger-pointing way, it's not meant to. Rather it is an attempt to wander back to the source of a circular debate that keeps jazz purists persistently in knots and the pop world head-scratching.
May 15, 1999 |
The story of the emperor's new clothes kept coming to mind during Cassandra Wilson's concert at the Wiltern Theatre. Listening to her take on Miles Davis' music in a performance that promised so much and delivered so little made one wonder what was stuffing the ears of the jazz media who have given her such complimentary responses for this project. Wilson has done impressive work in the past, especially when she was associated with producer Craig Street.
May 9, 1999 |
After the release four years ago of "New Moon Daughter," the second of two Blue Note albums that propelled Cassandra Wilson from the margins of cultdom to jazz superstar / franchise status, I crawled out on what I thought was a very thin limb and proclaimed that any search for the Next Miles Davis--prohibitive, theoretical or otherwise--should end as of now.
October 12, 1997 |
Cassandra Wilson makes a welcome return to her jazz roots in an attractive collection dominated by standard tunes. Her partnership with pianist Jacky Terrasson was a particularly good idea, because both artists seem to enjoy approaching familiar material from an offbeat point of view. "There's really no point in covering standards if you're not going to make them sound fresh or new," says Terrasson, "and I get a kick out of disguising them."
March 3, 1996 |
Those who believed that Wilson's 1988 collection of standards, "Blue Skies," marked the arrival of a significant new voice in jazz may be disappointed in the singer's latest recording. With only two bona fide jazz standards among the dozen numbers, "New Moon Daughter" breaks down the barriers between musical styles, covering blues, pop and country material as well as five of Wilson's own, hard-to-categorize originals.
February 12, 1996 |
Cassandra Wilson is an enigma. An elusive musical mystery. How else to describe a performer who is simultaneously one of the best-selling jazz acts in the world and one of the art's most indefinable practitioners? Wilson's appearance at the Wiltern Theatre on Saturday night was a classic example of her capacity to captivate and distance--to dominate a performing space with the emotional impact of a grande diva while maintaining the demeanor of a shy young woman.