Cassandra Wilson: Silver Pony

Album review
Cassandra Wilson: Silver Pony

Cassandra Wilson

Silver Pony

Label: Blue Note
Media: CD
Genre: Jazz

Just as the previous generation of jazz critics fell in love with Sarah Vaughan, I was smitten by Cassandra Wilson twelve bars into the opening track of her 1993 Blue Note debut, Blue Light Til Dawn. Thirteen years and eight albums later, she’s still with Blue Note and still casting her alluring, husky-tinged, honey-toned spell. Recorded on a 2009 European tour, Silver Pony includes spirited reinventions of jazz and blues standards along with some stirring originals. “Lover Come Back To Me,” fueled by drummer Herlin Riley’s briskly swinging brushwork, concludes with some surprising and cathartic Howlin’ Wolf calls by Wilson. A riveting take on Delta blues pioneer Charley Patton’s “Saddle Up My Pony” features some toe-curling slide guitar by Marvin Sewell while “St. James Infirmary” is re-imagined as a churning, Afro-Cuban funk-blues jam. The haunting original “Beneath a Silver Moon” has Wilson’s pleading voice in intimate dialogue with Ravi Coltrane’s tenor sax. Elsewhere, Wilson puts her stamp on Stevie Wonder’s ravishing “If It’s Magic,” Luiz Bonfa’s melancholy bossa nova classic “A Day in the Life of a Fool,” and Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird.” The final track, a studio recording of “Sunrise,” is the only let- down in an otherwise sterling collection. 

More Info

  • primary artist, Cassandra Wilson
  • CD

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