Amazon.com essential recording
Her luscious alto has the depth and texture of a great tenor saxophonist, but Cassandra Wilson's defining asset is a postmodern song sense that enables her to surf through Son House, Neil Young, Johnny Mercer, Billie Holiday, and (gasp!) the Monkees in pursuit of strong songs that can provide that instrument with a canvas. Her second Blue Note album extends Wilson's seductive pilgrimage beyond the conventions of jazz repertoire and accompaniment, yet it's her instincts as a jazz singer that inform these brilliant readings. The settings again step away from traditional small group jazz (for starters, there's no piano) to evoke the emotional core of these songs. Anyone who can turn the Monkees' "Last Train to Clarksville" into a slow-burning erotic vignette deserves your attention. --Sam Sutherland
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Cassandra Wilson's Most Consistent And Her Best
J. Rich | 05/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""New Moon Daughter" was released on Blue Note Records in 1996. It is in my opinion her best effort. She never sounded so dark and silky smooth. Most of the songs are very subtle and haunting. She has really done it on this album.
For those who don't know who Cassandra Wilson, she is a jazz vocalist who has performed in a number groups over the years, her most experimental being M-Base Collective led by saxophonist Steve Coleman. I think this is where she got much of her experience dealing with different kinds of music besides jazz.
"New Moon Daughter" finds her in very good company. Her band is remarkable and they are:
Graham Haynes, Lawrence "Butch" Morris (coronet); Tony Cedras (accordion); Dougie Bowne (vibraphone, drums, percussion); Charlie Burnham (violin); Gary Breit (Hammond B-3 organ); Brandon Ross (acoustic, electric & octave guitars); Kevin Breit (acoustic, resophonic & electric guitars, tenor banjo, Irish bozouki); Chris Whitley (resophonic guitar); Gib Wharton (pedal steel); Lonnie Plaxico, Marc Anthony Peterson (bass); Jeff Haynes (percussion); Cyro Baptista (percussion, jews harp); The Peepers (background vocals)
Wilson, like Diana Krall, surrounds herself with real jazz musicians that know the music. I can't talk about the music too much other than it's beautiful and will really take you a minute to soak in what just happened. There are many layers to discover each time you listen.
If you like Shirley Horn and Diana Krall, then I wouldn't see any reason why you wouldn't like Cassandra Wilson. She is a lot different than Horn and Krall musically, but her voice is just as silky smooth. I think with Wilson you really have to be just sit back and wrap your ears around all the beautiful sounds. Listen to this recording with headphones on so you can hear everything and it's more intimate.
Highly recommended to fans of jazz vocals. I don't really listen to jazz vocals that much, because I'm a bebopper, but I was able to really dig this. "New Moon Daughter" is by far one of her finest.
Dreamy, unexpected, every song a unique interpretation
Liz K. | Davis, CA USA | 01/03/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I own this and Glamoured, and love them both. Her covers of familiar songs always bring something new. What an eerie, moody, individual stylist."