Home Read Classic Album Review: Cassandra Wilson | Belly Of The Sun

Classic Album Review: Cassandra Wilson | Belly Of The Sun

The torchy singer continues to work the sweet spot between jazz and blues.

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This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


Uptown gets down once again in this latest bluesy collection from jazzy torch singer Cassandra Wilson.

As she has on most of her last few albums, Wilson’s desire to keep in touch with her musical roots manifests itself in a song list peppered with oldies like Mississippi Fred McDowell’s You Gotta Move and Robert Johnson’s Hot Tamales. This time, though, she takes it one step further — most of Belly Of The Sun was recorded in a converted boxcar and train station in the blues mecca of Clarksdale, Miss., which lends the tunes an authentic aura if nothing else. As always, though, Wilson seems too tenaciously eclectic for her own good, tossing in covers of The Band’s The Weight, Bob Dylan’s Shelter From The Storm, Jimmy Webb’s Wichita Lineman and Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Waters Of March, along with a slate of smoky, bayou-flavoured originals. It’s all good, but despite all her efforts at blues verisimilitude, Wilson is still better suited to the jazz club than the juke joint.