Two-time Grammy winner Cassandra Wilson has a voice as smooth as velvet and she showcases it on “Silver Pony,” a new CD featuring studio and live performances from shows in Warsaw, Poland, and Seville and Granada, Spain.
On “Lover, Come Back,” Wilson and her band exhibit complete command, giving a master class in what jazz should be. Wilson’s lush alto is warm, clear and inviting. Members of the band take turns showing off their skills and understanding of what it takes to play jazz. Johnathan Batiste’s piano solos lift the song to another place – in a good way.
Wilson’s take on John Lennon/Paul McCartney’s “A Day in the Life of a Fool” is one of the best covers ever laid down. It’s mellow, sad, intoxicating and masterful.
The mid-tempo arrangement of “Blackbird” is layered and nuanced. The original melody is there, of course, but Wilson and her band add a special blend of spice, flavor and excitement.
Discovering Cassandra Wilson is problematic. Almost every other vocalist pales in comparison.
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