Cassandra Wilson: Easy Rider
Cassandra Wilson (vocals)
Thunderbird (Blue Note 63398)
Keefus Ciancia (keyboards, programming, electric bass), Mike Elizondo (electric bass), Bill Maxwell (drums).
Recorded: No date given (CD released in 2006)
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
Don't be scared off by the personnel listing. You might assume that a recording with three bass players, two drummers, two guitarists, as well as keyboard and - most ominous of all - a "programmer," would sound too busy. In fact, this stunning version of "Easy Rider" has a fresh, open ambiance that actually sounds under-produced. The Mississippi-born Wilson has always been a great blues singer, but here she takes one of the oldest blues in the repertoire and makes you forget that anyone else has ever recorded it. A smart, deep performance by one of the finest jazz singers of our day.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia