Flashback Friday – Cassandra Wilson “Blue Skies”

Cassandra Wilson - Blue Skies

I figured since I have been featuring some heavyweight jazz this week, I would stay in the same lane for our flashback. The year was 1989. I had moved out of my parent’s house and into my first apartment. It was Labor Day weekend and I had gone to the annual Chicago Jazz Festival and hungout for awhile. I also went to the Jazz Record Mart for my first time because they had a copy of Cassandra Wilson’sBlue Skies.” I was already in love with this album after hearing it with a friend. I got home that evening, got a big glass of Kool-Aid (red, of course), turned out the lights, sat in my big chair, and was hypnotized by her mystical voice. From the first notes of “Shall We Dance“, she had me. Her mellow reading of this tune set the tone and covered the room in a blanket of romance. “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” always made me smile just because of the title and her superb handling of this song. Other gems included were “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was“, “I’m Old Fashioned“, “Sweet Lorraine“, and “My One and Only Love.” “Gee Baby Ain’t I Good To You” was added to the CD version of the album and her rendition of “Blue Skies” still plays in my head. I worked second shift at the time and every night, for a few months, Cassandra lulled me to sleep. She is backed by Mulgrew Miller on piano, Lonnie Plaxico on acoustic bass, and Terri Lyne Carrington on drums and they are impeccable.

In 2002, Verve Records released a compilation of her early recordings on the JMT Productions label entitled “Sing Standards” which includes several of the songs from the “Blue Skies album.” Over the years, Cassandra’s music has traveled down many long and winding roads, touching many genres along the way, but “Blue Skies” will always be my personal favorite. Enjoy your music.

7 Responses to “Flashback Friday – Cassandra Wilson “Blue Skies””

  1. Antonio G says:

    Yes! Yes! Yes! This week has been lovely!

  2. nakachi says:

    there you go broadening my horizons, again…
    and with a glass of red Kool-Aid to boot!
    i’m relatively new to the divine ms. wilson. i see now i’m going to have to do some time traveling and get to know a sista betta.
    thanks for this one, j!

  3. bujibuji says:

    hey uncle j, im making this amazing discoveries, just two weeks ago, i like presented to otis redding and wow wow wow.. im like where do i begin.

  4. shannita says:

    how much do i love cassandra wilson? once again, you’ve picked an amazing album for flashback friday. this is the only cassandra wilson album i don’t own. you are getting me to spend way too much time and money in the record store! thank for the prayers for my granny too. much appreciated. 🙂

  5. kevinrscott says:

    ok, so finally you feature an artist that i am absolutely in love with. without reservation or hesitation. i adore, absolutely adore cassandra wilson.

  6. Gratefulone says:

    The Poka tune was a surprise, a good one. Her toons seem extremely smooth and refined.

  7. ronn says:

    First and foremost: red ain’t no flavah!!! LOL
    OK, let me join in the chorus of Cassandra worshippers. I’m a bit lukewarm to some of her recent work, but I still love her overall. Caught a live performance in Baltimore last summer and she rocked the place.

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