NEW MOON DAUGHTER won the 1997 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Performance.
From the opening cut, a jagged, ominous deconstruction of Billie Holiday's classic "Strange Fruit," it's clear that there is something unusual going on here. Cassandra Wilson is essentially coming at pop tunes from a jazz singer's perspective. Of course many other singers, from Nina Simone to Tony Bennett, have done this before; what sets Wilson apart is that rather than making faux standards out of contemporary songs, she uses her jazz chops to approach the material from an entirely new direction.
The result is a bold amalgam that is neither pop nor jazz, but owes debts to both traditions. Producer Craig Street gives Wilson's adventurous tendencies full reign as she goes on to cover Hank Williams, the Monkees and U2. This time Street, who also produced 1993's BLUE LIGHT 'TIL DAWN, focuses a little more on her unusual, Joni Mitchell-esque open tunings on acoustic guitar, and there are more original Wilson compositions, which also echo middle-period Joni. Betwixt all those tools and the classic pop material, Wilson creates a new world in which her voice moves freely through genre lines with grace and vitality.
Personnel: Cassandra Wilson (vocals, acoustic guitar); 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). Recorded at Turtle Creek Barn, Bearsville, New York and Sound On Sound, New York, New York
|Brand||Blue Note Records|
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