Search - Cassandra Wilson :: Traveling Miles

Traveling Miles
Cassandra Wilson
Traveling Miles
Genres: International Music, Jazz, Pop, R&B, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

Cassandra Wilson's tribute to Miles Davis, Traveling Miles, is nothing if not ambitious--easily on par with the other slew of Davis tribs. Covering the great trumpeter's long career is alone quite a challenge, but Wilson s...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Cassandra Wilson
Title: Traveling Miles
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Blue Note Records
Original Release Date: 3/23/1999
Release Date: 3/23/1999
Genres: International Music, Jazz, Pop, R&B, Broadway & Vocalists
Styles: Avant Garde & Free Jazz, Jazz Fusion, Vocal Jazz, Vocal Pop, Funk, Traditional Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Other Editions: Traveling Miles
UPCs: 724385412325, 0724385412356, 724385412349, 724385412356, 4988006764552

Cassandra Wilson's tribute to Miles Davis, Traveling Miles, is nothing if not ambitious--easily on par with the other slew of Davis tribs. Covering the great trumpeter's long career is alone quite a challenge, but Wilson sets her goals even higher by writing new lyrics and arrangements that make these tunes her own. The result is a pleasure that ends up capturing Wilson's spirit as well as Davis's. Never one to hew to traditional jazz's formats, Wilson adds acoustic and slide guitars, percussion, harmonica, and other instruments that give the album an enormously varied feel. "Right Here, Right Now," with its strummed and slide guitars, wouldn't sound out of place on a Joni Mitchell album, and her intriguing cover of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" (covered by Davis in 1985 on You're Under Arrest), is delicately mournful. Not that Wilson has left jazz behind: the swinging version of "Seven Steps to Heaven," with guest solos by violinist Regina Carter and vibraphonist Stefon Harris, whose 1998 debut was one of the year's promising releases, is a highlight. And Wilson's version of the Davis classic "Blue in Green" (here titled "Sky and Sea"), is just plainly beautiful. Her deep and soulful voice remains as compelling as ever through the many moods and colors, deepening the uniqueness of her take on the Miles songbook. Exactly the way Miles would have wanted it. --Ezra Gale

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CD Reviews

Attention Required On This Journey..Rewarding Result
Lance G. Rigley | Brisbane, Queensland Australia | 10/07/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"As I grow older and demand something more interesting and innovative to listen to ,yet produce a rewarding result,I am constantly prepared to persevere with something conceptual and unusual.This tribute to Miles Dewey Davis, and a showcase to the talent and ambition of Ms Wilson,is just such a recording. From the outset this is an adult work,at times not quite hitting the mark,but bursting with genuine emotion and interpretative understanding that Miles would have surely approved.I would recommend that this CD be listened to at least four or five times before passing any form of fact it is playing as I type this review.It is a multi layered and complicated and yet at times jazzy and delicate, being a showcase for Ms Wilson's at times,*whiskey and cigarette* voice and at other times husky and melancholy delivery.At all times her vocals are interesting,and I note a pleasing duet with another great voice,Angelique Kidjo,on the final cut,Voodoo Reprise.Ms Wilson 's range is substantial and hynotic on this CD.I will, with relish, listen to her previous recordings of jazz standards and blues influenced material,for a further fix.The CD opens with one of the stronger tracks,Run The Voodoo Down,and closes with a Reprise.The music of Miles Davis is complimented by the lyrics of Ms Wilson perfectly and this is an interpretive funky fusion of Afro beats and deep earthy vocals which set a pace that is continued throughout the CD.In fact praise should be given to the musicians on this CD,especially to the percussion and base credits of Lonnie Plaxico on acoustic base on most tracks and Jeffrey Haynes on percussion.It is pleasing to see a jazz artist stretch the boundaries and include mandolin,greek bazouki,harmonica,and an assortment of guitar variations.The result is not always consistent and lends to the listener overcoming a wave of acoustic string and jazz rock fusion sounds played at frantic pace on some tracks and then a slowing of the pace to a more melancholy jazz or blues feel.My overall assessment is that this CD is a worthy addition to your collection.I recommend to you the beautiful interpretation of the Cyndi Lauper written,*Time After Time*with its soft emotional and melancholy delivery.I believe that this version ranks with the excellent interpretation of Eva Cassidy,and makes this song one of the truely great vehicles for interpretive singing in the last 20 years.There are the interpretations of Tutu and Blue in Green,Resurrection Blues and Sky and Sea,which are innovative and ambitious deliveries,worthy of contunal plays. The soft and sensual jazz delivery of the former gives way to a more acoustic interpretation of the later.I would also recommend Piper as a pleasing track. The Afro almost middle east feel that permeates through the later half of the CD,coupled with Ms Wilson's jazz influenced voice makes listening to this a rewarding experience.Whether listened to alone or with another,give yourself time to appreciate this music and you will find it growing on you.If you love percussion based music this is equally a delight.This does require your undivided attention for the initial listenings and is something savoured.It is not easy listening,but it is different, adult and rewarding,and after the final track has played you must remember that it was dedicated to a true innovator of modern music whose music required you to earn the joy it provided. I give this 4 stars which will probably rise to 5 as I appreciate it more.Call it a workout for your senses...get fit!!!!!"
Close your eyes and feel this one!
don prioleau | APO, AE Germany | 02/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Excellent tribute to my favorite artist, Miles Dewey Davis. This is music that you listen to in the dark, from another room with your eyes closed and you take this beautiful voyage riding on the deep and soulful voice of Cassandra Wilson. She flows so well and reaches deep inside and when you do open your eyes, it is only to put this CD on repeat and succumb to her entrancing voice. "Sky and Sea"(Blue and Green) is outstanding and her cover of "Time after time" had to impress Cyndy Lauper and definetly make Miles smile. One to keep in the carousel."
A great album
S. Hawkins | New York, NY | 04/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was quite worried about the idea of Cassandra Wilson doing a Miles tribute - oftentimes singers doing tributes to instrumentalists produce truly horrid albums (Miles often gets the brunt of these "tribute" albums).However, here Wilson has created an incredible album. She does some Miles tunes (and those associated with him), some originals, and some surprising numbers, like "Time After Time" (the best version of this song you can buy).Where she succeeds is in adapting all of these tunes to fit her own style, much as Miles did with jazz itself in the 40s, 50s, 60s, etc... Run the VooDoo Down gets a facelift and becomes a smoky, sexy tune, while Someday My Prince Will Come is transformed into an almost dark, aching ballad. All of this brings out the best in her voice.Wilson's success then is in her desire to not adhere slavishly to Miles - instead simply using him as a springboard. It's great stuff"