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Musicians in Their Own Words: Cassandra Wilson

Detail from the CD cover for 'Glamoured.'
Detail from the CD cover for 'Glamoured.'

Jazz singer Cassandra Wilson likes to experiment with her band, testing the limits of the music and finding new places for her voice in the mix. The group is somewhat unusual for a vocalist. With no piano to support her voice with chords, Wilson prefers to sing against the sound of a harmonica — or maybe a banjo. And to lay down the groove, she has both a percussionist AND a drummer.

The material she chooses also displays a disdain for convention. Her latest CD, 2003's Glamoured, features songs by Muddy Waters, Sting and Willie Nelson. Performers on the disc include drummer Teri Lynne Carrington, percussionist Jeffrey Haynes, guitar and banjo player Brandon Ross, harmonica player Gregoire Maret and bassist Reginald Veal.

Features in the series are produced by David Schulman and NPR's Jeffrey Freymann-Weyr.

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David Schulman