Cassandra Wilson

Fourteen albums deep, Cassandra Wilson continues to record seamless and entrancing music on her latest offering, Glamoured. It contains her most eclectic blend of covers and originals to date.

Wilson's cool and understated vocal delivery might lead one to think that her songs would be boring; instead she entraps the listener. On the self-penned "Heaven Knows," she sings, "I know how to climb the mountain range the rough terrain inside of you/Complicated paths that twist and wind I know I'll find my way in you," humming and scatting along to Fabrizio Sotti's guitar. While she's no slouch as a songwriter, she shines brightest when interpreting work by the likes of Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, and Willie Nelson. The astounding instrumental portrait painted by guitarist Brandon Ross, percussionist Jeffrey Haynes, and bassist Reginald Veal makes Wilson's cover of "Lay Lady Lay" a sheer gem. Her erotic "If Loving You Is Wrong" makes Luther Ingram's 1972 tale of infidelity sound sexy and damn near justifiable. Even though Glamoured isn't revolutionary, it demonstrates that Wilson's ability to create sensually smooth music time and time again is what makes her special.

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Christopher Sanders