From the Vault...


Cassandra Wilson
"New Moon Daughter"

© Blue Note Records

Year of Release: 1995

track listing
  • Strange Fruit
  • Love Is Blindness
  • Solomon Song
  • Death Letter
  • Skylark
  • Find Him
  • I'm So Lonesome
    I Could Cry
  • Last Train To Clarksville
  • Until
  • A Little Warm Death
  • Memphis
  • Harvest Moon

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    Cassandra Wilson related sites:
    Cassandra Wilson Website
    Previous Review: #1733
    The Jonas Brothers--A Little Bit Longer
    Next Review: #1735
    Billy Cobham--Spectrum
    Cassandra Wilson
    "New Moon Daughter"

    This week we welcome Cassandra Wilson, a remarkable jazz artist. She has achieved #1 albums on Billboard's Jazz albums chart. Her debut here on WSVNRadio is her #1 album from 1995, New Moon Daughter. The album's title is from an old Ashanti proverb "Sickness comes with the waning moon; the new moon cures disease". Five songs were written by Wilson for this album. The others are standards, and by other writers.

    Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" starts the album, as Cassandra makes this standard as her own. "Love Is Blindess" (written by U2), is a very impressive tune. The guitars have a country'ish sound, yet it's definitely Jazz, as this song is compared to that of Diana Krall. Diana Krall and Norah Jones come to mind on the next track, "Solomon Song," written by Cassandra Wilson. This track has a spanish-sounding style, and again, it's Jazz.

    "Death Letter" has a mystery about it in sound. It's soulful. It's blusey. This song was written by Son House. The Hoagy Carmichael standard "Skylark" is a beautiful standard version. "Find Him" (written by Wilson) is an upbeat, cool jazz track. It has a Pop-meets-Jazz sound.

    The country classic written by Hank Williams, I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" is way different than that we know of this song. Cassandra makes it her own! The Monkees' "Last Train To Clarksville" -- Ok, I'll have to say, this song is probably the weakest track from the album. It is way different than the Monkees' original. Different, yes. Jazz, yes. A good remake? No.

    Diana Krall gets the comparison again, on the next track, written by Wilson -- "Until." It is simply, a cool jazz tune. "A Little Warm Death" (written by Wilson), is upbeat jazz, having a tropical sound. You can hear this song on the cruise. Love Boat Cruise? Another Wilson-penned tune is next, "Memphis." This track has the mystery atmosphere. It is another great smooth as silk jazz song. Ending the album is "Harvest Moon," written by Neil Young. Smooth.

    In researching this album, there were negative reviews. I strongly disagree this album being negative at all. With the exception of the Monkees remake, it is hard to pick just one song to represent this album. The standards and other well-known artists who wrote songs on this album and Wilson's versions of them, she has made them her own. Even the five songs she wrote herself, they all standout. One review stated this is a "mixed bag" of songs. True. Although they all fit jazz, they have their own flavors in music in their own rights. This makes it even better. New Moon Daughter by Cassandra Wilson is an excellent album. Fans of Diana Krall will enjoy this album as well. Wilson's voice is smooth, and defines great jazz. More of her reviews will appear here. Looking forward to it.

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    Previous Review: #1733
    The Jonas Brothers--A Little Bit Longer
    Next Review: #1735
    Billy Cobham--Spectrum