free website hit counter Spiced Tea & Letters: Sexy Summer Jazz

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Sexy Summer Jazz

Cassandra Wilson by Eric Elias

Cassandra Wilson; Tamar Kali – Sexy Summer Jazz

By Laylah Amatullah Barrayn

Cassandra Wilson's virtuosity as a vocalist, musician and bandleader is only matched by her uncut sexiness. Sex appeal, not of the frivolous kind; but that of the truly grown – nothing a 20something could ever claim. Her performance last Friday at Central Park SummerStage began at sunset, a crimson colored sky was her backdrop, along with her quartet of brothers. The set list made necessary stops along her discography, performing her most popular tunes like "Come On In my Kitchen" from her debut Blue Light 'Til Dawn; most of her show comprised songs from her latest records, namely Belly of the Sun.

During his solo, Wilson stared into electric guitarist Brandon Ross' eyes, not unlike a jazz musician would - seeking to gain synergy with her fellow band mate - but the gaze was borderline hypnotic and packed with seduction. Her sleepy eyes even more pronounced now that her blond hair and golden skin meld. The audience was definitely under hypnosis: Wilson gilded across her stage like a belly dancer with smooth undulating twists and turns and grinds. Her sheer, violet tunic hung off her shoulder for most of the night, and her purple sequined, fitted pants animated her strides.

The meandering solos were delivered with sharp, nuanced intellect. The quartet would burst into solos at unlikely times; and cheering them on, Wilson would ask her bass player or guitarist, 'can you love me' or 'stroke it good!' Wilson's rendition of D'angelo's "Brown Sugar" was one of the highlights of the night. Standing center stage and squatting she belted out the funk-tinged lyrics of this neo-soul classic. Wilson gave the crowd a beautiful encore performance of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song."

Percussionist, Jeff Haynes, kept the time with his invented drum kit that included a West African D'jembe drum, snares and bongo. Marvin Sewell sat furthest away from everyone else with his acoustic guitar, that he fantastically made sound like a DJ scratching vinyl.

With her Afro-Punk sound, Tamar Kali opened the show singing about love in a way only a grown woman could: with know-it-all insight and confidence. The Harlem native, who is also a belly dancer and grew up in the Gullah Islands of South Carolina, preformed the music from her latest, indy released CD, Geechee Goddess Warrior Soul.


At 9:23 PM, Blogger TriniPrincess said...

Very cool review. Love your blog, keep the good entries coming! :o)

At 9:26 PM, Blogger Danyel said...

love Wilson. "Tupelo Honey." I haven't heard that in a long time.

Beautiful blog.

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