The Jazzcat

A Fabulous performance By Cassandra Wilson at Royce Hall!

by on Feb.24, 2004, under News



Cassandra Wilson


On my way back home from my latest trip to San Francisco,

I had some great tunes playing. It seemed as though the theme was

female vocalist. Nina Simone, Abbey Lincoln, Billie Holiday and

Cassandra’s “New Moon Daughter” was next in the queue and what a



Just like in concert,

Cassandra transports you from your seat into her own world. You are no

longer in control because you are mesmerized by the sound of a voice

that is deep, dark, rich, powerful, sweet and lovely. 


The stage is lit

wonderfully. Each instrument is glistening in reds, purples and hues,

hues of blues, blues, blues! At first silence, a banjo solo, the

introduction, the band and then Cassandra! The audience at Royce Hall

exploded as Cassandra dropped us all down into that down home beat. The

back woods, the country, the marsh, the Delta, where you get you feet

wet and dirty and the sun is burning your skin. Reginald Veal thumpin’

hard and strong on bass while Gregoire Maret layed down some cool duck

sounds on harmonica. It is going to be one long set of fantastic music.


She started the evening with a Muddy Waters tune Honey Bee followed by an Ashanti

proverb, ‘Even a Broken Drum can save the Moon”. She takes off her

shoes as if to feel the earth. She digs in and feels the fertile ground

beneath her toes. Cassandra is dropping the seeds as the soulful sound

of the music takes root and grows like a musical bougainvillea.


The little drummer

girl, marches on. TLC, tender loving care, Terry Lynn Carrington is

holding it down as usual. The perfect back drop for Cassandra, a woman

who is 100% herself and is so comfortable in a style that is

unequivocally and uniquely all her own.


Jeffery Haynes is

extraordinary on percussion as he delivers a cavalcade of sounds

ranging from soft and warm to a multitude of rhythmic power. Cassandra

breaks out with “Last Train to Clarksville, with more soul than the Monkeys ever had. The song is transformed and Cassandra is the new owner.


I certainly admire

odd time signatures. I think there is room for so much creativity and

Cassandra is no stranger to the primes. Singing like a lullaby, the

audience is wrapped up, cradled in her arms and rocked, not to sleep,

but comfortably just like babies looking up gazing at the source. Then

the roar of the African beat of “Lay Lady Lay”


A ballerina of

musical sound dancing melodically and spinning in a pirouette of

precision, Cassandra is mesmerizing. Sting’s “Fragile”, “If Loving You

is Wrong” and “Like the Sweetness in Life With You” were spewing with

Cassandrasoul! Another outstanding performance by the reigning diva of

musical soul, Cassandra Wilson.

LeRoy Downs


Leave a Reply

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Visit our friends!

A few highly recommended friends...