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Cassandra Wilson's 'Silver Pony' Balances Varying Styles

Cassandra Wilson's 'Silver Pony' Balances Varying Styles
Cassandra Wilson's 'Silver Pony' Balances Varying Styles

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Grammy-winning singer and composer Cassandra Wilson is a master of pop and jazz melodies.  Wilson’s new album “Silver Pony” reveals why she’s also considered one of today’s most engaging story tellers.

Cassandra Wilson never strayed far from the music she heard growing up.  On “Silver Pony,” she acknowledges her R&B roots with a sultry rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “If It’s Magic.” And then, digging even deeper into 1960s pop and rock, she honors John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

For Wilson, each new album is a balancing act.  She returns to her Delta blues roots on Charley Patton’s “Saddle Up My Pony,” before taking a page from the great American Songbook with an update of the Oscar Hammerstein-Sigmund Romberg classic, “Lover Come Back To Me.”   

Cassandra Wilson first discovered her love for jazz and blues in her native Jackson, Mississippi.  She studied classical piano, clarinet, and guitar, before moving to New Orleans to pursue jazz.  Later, as a member of the New York City ensemble M-Base, she developed her skills as a composer, arranger and improviser, leading to a long-term solo contract with Blue Note Records.

Wilson recently moved back to New Orleans where most of “Silver Pony” was recorded.  One of the album’s highlights is an original composition titled “Beneath A Silver Moon,” featuring saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, son of legendary jazzman John Coltrane.

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