Personnel include: Cassandra Wilson (vocals); Marc Ribot (guitar); Keefus Ciancia (piano, keyboards, bass guitar, programming); Mike Elizondo (synthesizer, upright bass, bass guitar, programming); Reginald Veal (upright bass, bass guitar); Jim Keltner, Bill Maxwell (drums).
Recording information: Capitol Studios, Hollywood, California.
While many jazz singers chase the ghosts of yesteryear revisiting the same vocal standards again and again, Cassandra Wilson has chosen a different path. She retains her fluid, smoky, and sometimes throaty phrasing, but paints with a more expansive palette. THUNDERBIRD finds Wilson digging still deeper into American blues and folk traditions while producer T. Bone Burnett frames her voice with spacious production, highlighting acoustic and electric guitars, percussion, and judiciously sampled rhythms. The songs, a mix of originals and thoughtfully chosen covers--from the contemporary (Jacob Dylan's "Closer To You") to the ages-old ("Red River Valley")--are driven not so much by swing as by the innately compelling sway of Wilson's voice.
What the critics say...
Down Beat (p.64) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Wilson's reading of 'Red River Valley' is riveting and smartly stripped to bare essentials....'Closer To You' is a nice pop ballad..."
JazzTimes (p.136) - "The overall effect is like being submerged in a tribal elixir, emerging with emotions fully stirred....Enchanted."
Living Blues (p.42) - "[H]er craftsmanship is impeccable and her commitment heartfelt....[Her voice] is the dusky-sweet instrument it's always been."
- Go To Mexico
- Closer To You
- Easy Rider
- It Would Be So Easy
- Red River Valley
- I Want To Be Loved
- Strike A Match