Cassandra Wilson’s new recording pays homage to the great Billie Holiday. It was released on what would have been Holiday’s 100th Birthday and is being supported by a national tour.
Although Wilson’s smoky voice is pitched lower than Holiday’s, both singers infuse every song with an authentic blues feeling, making the repertoire come alive. You’ll find some of the same melancholy themes in the 11 standards approached here, but the modern arrangements set off Wilson’s voice in a whole new context.
“The Way You Look Tonight” and “These Foolish Things” are standout tracks with moody string arrangements by Van Dyke Parks complimenting Wilson’s signature sound.
This CD on Sony Legacy as well as Jose James’ recent salute to Holiday on Blue Note insure that the music Lady Day popularized will reach a whole new generation of listeners.