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Loverly / Cassandra Wilson

Cassandra Wilson - Loverly

Blue Note Records

It doesn’t matter what musical arena Cassandra Wilson sings in, she puts her stamp on each record and makes it her own. That is certainly true on “Loverly”, a collection of jazz standards and blues classics. Many of the titles may be familiar to you like “Lover come Back To Me” and “Caravan”. The latter is an energetic remake that features the hugely talented Marvin Sewel on acoustic guitar. His playing throughout the disc simply adds another dimension to several compositions here. Another example is “Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most.” Marvin and Cassandra transform this classic into an acoustic number that is just fabulous. In addition to Marvin, the band assembled here is outstanding. You have Lonnie Plaxico on bass, Reginald Veal on acoustic bass, Herlin Riley on drums, Lekan Babalola on percussion and Jason Moran on keys. With Cassandra you also realize just how closely aligned jazz and the blues really are. She dips her toe into the blues pool on several tracks here but on “Dust My Broom” she dives right in. She takes us on a trip down in the delta on the Robert Johnson classic and the ride is quite enjoyable. Overall “Loverly” is a wonderful record and further proof that Cassandra is in a class by herself.

Reg Dancy, 09/08