Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Cassandra Wilson

  • Blue Light 'Til Dawn [Blue Note, 1993] *
  • New Moon Daughter [Blue Note, 1996] B-
  • Traveling Miles [Blue Note, 1999] Neither

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Blue Light 'Til Dawn [Blue Note, 1993]
respects her texts at long last ("Come On in My Kitchen," "Sankoma") *

New Moon Daughter [Blue Note, 1996]
Compelled to pretend they're superior to the pop text as well as the pop tune, encouraged to express rather than interpret but forbidden to ignore the words, too many jazz singers have trouble figuring out what to make of their material. And however admirable Wilson's independence of so-called classic pop, most of these songs escape her attentions without a mark on them. Which isn't to mention the "Strange Fruit" that establishes the surpassing weirdness of Billie's original, or the disastrous Monkees cover, designed to prove she has a sense of humor I'm now convinced isn't there. B-

Traveling Miles [Blue Note, 1999] Neither