Release Date: Jun 10, 2008
Record label: Blue Note
Genre(s): Jazz, Vocal
In 2006, somebody in the Barbican audience barracked Cassandra Wilson into singing a standard. It was a reminder of how infrequently she has applied her dark-toned contralto and taut delivery to mainstream jazz over the past decade, often focusing instead on a modernised rural blues. But if this jazzier album seems to betray some unwise choices early on (the chugging Django Reinhardt retro-swing behind Lover Come Back to Me, and a coy My Fair Lady title track that doesn't suit Wilson's grainy unsentimentality), it soon reveals formidable strengths.
Vocalist Cassandra Wilson has used her 15 years at Blue Note to explore the interpretive range of her voice, whether singing tunes by Van Morrison, Robert Johnson, Lewis Allan, Miles Davis, or Hoagy Carmichael. In many ways, Wilson has offered a new view of the standard by using classic rock and Delta blues tunes in her live and recorded repertoires. That said, Loverly is her first offering comprised almost completely of American songbook standards since Blue Skies 20 years ago.