Forever Rising, Forever Breaking My Heart

Coming Forth By Day Wanda Waterman 2015-04-17 Album: Coming Forth by Day Artist: Cassandra Wilson “They would not let me sing, But now we’re all alone, facing the west.” – Cassandra Wilson, from “Last Song (for Lester)” On April 7, the hundredth anniversary of Billie Holiday’s birth, the husky-throated Cassandra Wilson released an album that pays Billie a singular honour: it manifests as authentic and original a delivery of Billie’s songbook as did Billie herself. This means, of course, that it sounds nothing like Billie Holiday. (Read the rest here.) Continue reading Forever Rising, Forever Breaking My Heart

Something More Beautiful and Human Than the Dominant Madness

The Mindful Bard: The Signal by Wanda Waterman The Voice Magazine, Volume 22 Issue 40 2014-10-10 Album: The Signal Artist: Elizabeth Shepherd “I believe in God, as mother. She’s good to me and keeps me going. I’m aware of how dysfunctional and unjust our world is, and I feel the need to use my musical platform to try to bring some joy—something more beautiful and human than the dominant madness.” – Elizabeth Shepherd in an interview with Wanda Waterman, June 2013 I first heard of singer, pianist, and composer, Elizabeth Shepherd from her publicist just before her appearance at the … Continue reading Something More Beautiful and Human Than the Dominant Madness

The Fruitful Marriage of American Jazz and the Avante Garde, Part I

by Wanda Waterman The Voice Magazine, Volume 22 Issue 35 2014-09-05 “Late one evening, outside the Open Door in Greenwich Village, [Charlie] Parker, shuffling along in a pair of old carpet slippers, bumped into Jackie McLean. . . ’I want you to kick me in the ass, Jackie McLean, for letting me get myself in this position,’ Bird commanded, bending over … A few days later Parker borrowed McLean’s sax to make an out-of-town gig, a sax McLean had himself borrowed from a friend; Parker pawned it.” – from Birth of the Cool: Beat, Bebop, and the American Avant Garde, … Continue reading The Fruitful Marriage of American Jazz and the Avante Garde, Part I

Japan’s Compact Jazz Powerhouse Swings Like Nobody’s Business

The Mindful Bard: Alive by Wanda Waterman The Voice Magazine, Volume 22 Issue 26 2014-06-27 Album: Alive Artist: Hiromi “I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity.” – Billy Joel “Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. I remember an English professor at Dalhousie who taught us that if we had a thought that we couldn’t put into words, perhaps we should consider that it wasn’t really a thought. At the time this made perfect sense. But … Continue reading Japan’s Compact Jazz Powerhouse Swings Like Nobody’s Business