Oct 24, 2013
To say that singer Cassandra Wilson is “versatile” is to require a redefinition of the word. She effortlessly moves from the Great American Songbook to dusky blues to reimagined 21st century pop tines with ease. She records with groups ranging from solo piano accompanists to string sections to a band playing acoustic instruments more usually found at a Mumford & Sons concert than in a jazz club. She covers Lerner & Loewe with the same ease as she does Robert Johnson or Bono.
Thankfully for her fans, she also is in great demand as a guest vocalist with other artists. Since her days as one of the driving forces of the M-Base Collective in the mid-80’s, she has shared her talents with the likes of Steve Bernstein, Robin Eubanks, Dave Holland, David Sanchez and many more. She was a key part of Wynton Marsalis’ Blood On the Fields, a Pulitzer-Prize winner in 1997. And she vocalizes with the hip-hop sounds of The Roots as well as she does as part of Terri Lyne Carrington’s The Mosaic Project.
Podcast 386 is my first attempt to collect “The Uncollected Cassandra”, pulling guest vocalist tracks together for a very cool mixtape. Since she has guested on over 40 CDs, it will take a while to make this complete, but I’ll keep posting Podcasts as I complete another hour or so of Cassandra songs. This podcast includes musical selections that show her great range, singing songs by the Duke and from Motown, folk by Joni Mitchell and Broadway by Stephen Sondheim:
Steve Turre – “In a Sentimental Mood” from Steve Turre.
Kurt Elling – “The Time of the Season” from The Messenger.
Regina Carter – “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” from Rhythms of the Heart.
Dave Holland Quartet – “Equality: from Dream of the Elders.
Bill Frisell and Elvis Costello – “Painted From Memory” from The Sweetest Punch.
Pat Martino – “Both Sides Now” from All Sides Now.
Cassandra Wilson – “For the Roses” from A Tribute to Joni Mitchell.
Don Byron – “The Ladies Who Lunch” from A Fine Line: Arias and Lieder.