Are you ready to
be whisked away? Whether sitting in traffic, lying out in your backyard, or
trying to mellow out after work, Cassandra Wilsons Glamoured will
help you dismiss your troubles and refocus you on nothing in particular.
the 14th installment from the artist recognized as Americas best singer
by Time Magazine in 2001, is "like being in a dream," says Wilson.
It captures those "split seconds when you're transfixed and your eyes don't
move and you have to shake yourself out of it.
From Wilson's mellow samba take on Sting's "Fragile" to her bass-and-vocal
duo on Abbey Lincoln's "Throw It Away," Glamoured arouses thoughts
of a mellow river cruise through a tropical rainforest just as much as it conjures
the smell of hot java in the hippest of hip coffee shops.
Following the initial recording dates in Wilsons hometown of Jackson,
Mississippi, she was pleased with what had been laid down, but felt the record
needed more to feel complete. After the Mississippi dates she headed to NYC
where she met Italian producer and guitarist Fabrizio Sotti. Sotti and Wilson
shared an "instant rapport," says Wilson. "He intrigued mehe
has a strong jazz background but hes living in a hip-hop world, and I
thought it would be interesting to see what he could bring to a project where
jazz is the foundation." Glamoured reflects Wilson's relationship,
as it blends Sotti's Euro-Latin flavorings with the Mississippi twang that Wilson
was raised on.
Though Wilson is often revered as a stellar jazz vocalist, this album showcases
that she is fully capable of singing in any genre. It is no easy task to string
together iconic hits from Sting, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Muddy Waters and
manage to throw in some original material. But Wilson pulls it off with the
greatest of ease.
Jazz albums often contain 8-minute epic-length songs with drawn out solos, but
all the songs on Glamoured have a pop-like running time between three
to five minutes. Even with a shorter running time Wilson retains the sophistication
of an accomplished musician.
While the album diverges from the jazz genre, its jazz roots distinguish its
coverage of pop tunes. This is not just another cover album with space-filling
originals, but rather it is a cohesive album where Wilson makes every song her
own. No wonder Wilson brought in bassist Reginald Veal and drummer Herlin Riley,
both standard sidemen for acclaimed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. Coupled with
the harmonica shadings of Gregoire Maret and percussion pattings of Jeffrey
Haynes, this unique rhythm section supplies the bed for the mystical dream that
Glamoured may lull you to sleep, comfort you with a book or even temporarily
sedate you. It does not overpower, but rejuvenates as it relaxes. Think of it
as a warm island breeze that runs through the deep south of Mississippi up North
through the hustle-bustle of Manhattan and right through your personal stereo.