Friday, June 24, 2005
Dreaming Wide Awake
Lizz Wright is a sweet and soulful marvel. Her solo debut, Salt, was tasty as all get out and this new disc is even more delightful.
Wright's honey-smooth, rich, delicately-husky alto is an amazing instrument which she utilizes to fine, fine effect. There are no wasted notes...no pointless embellishments...no false passions anywhere in this lovely song cycle. The music, anchored by soft guitars, is equally tasteful and without pretension; it never tries to draw attention away from the caressing majesty of Wright's voice.
Wright fits in that expansive wonderland between pop and jazz that is also inhabited by the likes of Cassandra Wilson, Norah Jones, Diana Krall, and Billy Miles making timeless music that both expands and defies boundaries in the same instant.
The songs here range from beautiful (mostly) midtempo tunes written or co-written by Wright (the wistful title song and the passionate "Hit the Ground" being highlights) to a handful of fascinating covers (including Neil Young's "Old Man", the old Jesse Colin Young brotherhood plea "Get Together", and a sublimely subdued version of "I'm Confessin'", a song Van Morrison takes in another, equally vital, direction on his new record.)
Soothing as a summer breeze on a soft blue day, Dreaming Wide Awake is destined to linger in my CD player for a long time.