New Music For Old People: Cassandra Wilson, Jill Sobule, New York City

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Al Kooper

Al Kooper

This column is like the title says — its intention is to fill the gap for those of us who were satiated musically in the ’60s and then searched desperately as we aged for music we could relate to and get the same buzz from nowadaze. iTunes was the answer for me in 2003 and I have been following the new releases every Tuesday ever since I realized there was an endless stream of music I could enjoy there.

I also include older items that I felt were obscure originally and might not have been heard back then. The reason I am writing this column is to make sure others don’t miss this wonderful music. These are not top ten items; but they SHOULD’VE been!

1. “Come On In This Kitchen” — Cassandra Wilson

In the past, many have shouldered the task of covering this Robert Johnson gem. This version REALLY sticks out because of the vocal, the arrangement and the simpatico of her backing musicians, especially drummer Lance Carter. The time is divided and subdivided here spontaneously and the band is fearless. Cassandra’s vocal ranges from blues derivative to high-class jazz at her whim. It is recorded and mixed beautifully in the Blue Note tradition by Danny Kopelson. I think this was her first album and was released in 1993 under the title Blue Light Til Dawn. Timeless.

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2. “Heroes” — Jill Sobule

For a late night hang, Jill is one of my favorite companions. Her sense of humor is hilarious, and her insights are unique. Actually, this song is a pretty good example of that as she pokes holes into the histories of those that have inspired many of us. She is a special songwriter in that respect; she is able to express thoughts that many people think but that rarely make the journey from the brain to the mouth. Great playing by the band as well.

3. “Darling, Take Me Back” — New York City

Thank God there was a Thom Bell in the ’60s and ’70s. He wrote, arranged and produced myriad soul sensations including the Spinners, the Stylistics, the Delfonics and this great group that unfortunately got lost but certainly not for any reason I can ascertain. I have peppered my columns with ‘missing’ tracks by them, but now there’s only one left after this one, so I will choose my next inclusion carefully. Meanwhile, I know you’ll enjoy this.

This column originally appeared on The Morton Report. Click for more great selections from Al Kooper! As always, show some love to the Morton Report!

Photo Credit: Joe Mabel [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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