Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cassandra Wilson's Another Country

Cassandra Wilson's newest album, Another Country (eOne Music), is a collaboration with the Italian guitarist and producer, Fabrizio Sotti. Produced by the two, "Another Country" was recorded in Florence, Italy with some additional recordings done at Piety Street Studios in New Orleans and Sotti Studio New York. In addition to Sotti's guitar (which has some gypsy jazz tinge), the complementary backing makes judicious use of percussionists Mino Cinelu and Lekan Babalola, the electric bass of Nicola Sorato, as well as accordionist Julien Labro.

The ten performances on Another Country, recording includes eight vocals from Wilson and two acoustic guitar solos from Sotti. Wilson's eight vocals are mostly originals (Sotti collaborated on six songs). From the opening moments of Red Guitar, to the closing Olumutoro, Wilson's sultry and intimate vocals benefits from the backing. It is not simply Sotti's guitar accompaniment but also Labro's subtle embellishments from his accordion that enhance the mood of the opening number. Then there is her haunting vocal on No More Blues, with a nice single string solo over which Wilson lightly scats.

Not everything is in an indigo vein. There is the brazilian rhythms of Almost Twelve with more marvelous playing from Sotti. An unusual selection is Wilson's folk-jazz arrangement of O Sole Mio, bringing a understated blues tinge to the operatic standard with a lovely guitar solo. Sotti's own atmospheric guitar solos, Deep Blue and Letting You Go, fit in the tenor of the vocal performances.

On Another Country, Wilson and Sotti display a rapport with each other that results in the enchantment heard here.

I received my review copy from a publicist. Here Cassandra talks about Another Country.

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