Cassandra Wilson

Cassandra Wilson - Blue Skies

Regular price $23.98

Blue Skies

By Cassandra Wilson            

Very Good Condition  (CD plays very well. Artwork and Case are in Very Good condition with only light wear)

 On 1988's Blue Skies, Cassandra Wilson took her first step away from the home she had built with Steve Coleman's M-Base organization. She'd done standards before, all the way back to 1985's Songbook. There are no M-Base players on this JMT set. She fronts a very conventional trio comprised of pianist Mulgrew Miller, drummer Terri Lynne Carrington, and bassist Lonnie Plaxico. The last of these is very significant because it would be Plaxico who directed her very startling and focused transformation when she signed to Blue Note Records in 1993 and released Blue Light 'Till Dawn. The program is pure standard fare, from "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" and "Shall We Dance?" to the title track and Rodgers and Hart's "I Didn't Know It What Time It Was." This cut is the most startling break from the rest in that it is much more forceful and hard-swinging than other readings, and showcases for the first time Wilson's tremendous individuality as a vocalist. There is much of Betty Carter still in her style here, but on this cut, she's pure Wilson, even the scatting comes not from jazz but from the blues of Wilson's Mississippi homeland. Another standout is Carter Burwell's "Sweet Lorraine," which wasn't quite a standard at the time but is quickly becoming one covered by many singers and is delivered in the classic repertoire's lineage. Not a masterpiece, but a really compelling first experiment with the more intimate forms and smaller groups Wilson would employ later on.

Cassandra Wilson has convincingly argued that all American popular music displays one fundamental aspect of the jazz tradition: a delight in taking songs--from the simplest to most profound--and recombining them into idiosyncratic form. That includes standards such as those she lolls into on this 1988 release--"Polka Dots and Moonbeams," "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," "My One and Only Love," and others. Underpinning these performances is an intriguing world-weariness, often of slightly sad (dare one say, postcoital) drowsiness. Wilson's sultry contralto augments that bold inflection, which impresses from the opening moments of the well-worn, usually more flirtatious "Shall We Dance." The straight-up support of Mulgrew Miller (piano), Lonnie Plaxico (bass), and Terri Lyne Carrington (drums) provides Wilson an unobtrusive foundation. --Peter Monaghan


Shall We Dance 7:17
Polka Dots And Moonbeams 5:43
I've Grown Accoustomed To His Face 5:13
I Didn't Know What Time It Was 4:40
Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You 5:01
I'm Old Fashioned 3:03
Sweet Lorraine 5:28
My One And Only Love 5:59
Autumn Nocturne 4:59
Blue Skies 3:07

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