Songbird

$12.99
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About this item

Though many recording artists meld and straddle a variety of genres, few if any defy categorization by excelling in so many disparate styles as the late Eva Cassidy. The diverse offerings from the evocative thrush from Washington, D.C. -- who died tragically of melanoma in 1996 at age 33 -- run the gamut from the radio-friendly pop cover of Sting's "Fields of Gold" to a jazz chanteuse rendition of the standard "Autumn Leaves," to the soulful R&B of Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready" to her spine-tingling gospel delivery of "Oh, Had I a Golden Thread." Cassidy's mastery of each is perhaps best evidenced by the fact that the Washington Area Music Association honored her (in 1996) as Best Female Vocalist in four separate categories: blues, jazz-contemporary, jazz-traditional and roots rock/traditional R&B, in addition to naming her Artist of the Year, and her then-current release, Live At Blues Alley, Album of the Year. Songbird is a posthumous anthology culled from that album and her other solo release, Eva By Heart, along with one track from her 1992 duet album with Chuck Brown titled The Other Side. Though the production value on several songs falls well short of state-of-the-art, the shimmering beauty of her crystal clear voice, combined with her seemingly limitless range and imaginative phrasing, cuts through to both heart and soul. Whether she beckons a soothing timbre for seductively restrained passages or shakes the rafters by unleashing her formidable power and gorgeous falsetto, Cassidy's warblings always fuse her purity of tone with a purity of emotion and a palpable connection with the lyric. Though the songs described above are luscious, the coup de maitre is the album's finale -- surely one of the great recordings in recent popular music -- Cassidy's stunning version of "Over the Rainbow." Recorded with only her own accompaniment on acoustic guitar, keyboards and synthesizer, Cassidy's voice swoops and soars over a musical panorama -- though with a wistful, melancholic shading that almost seems to betray a premonition of her own demise, despite the fact that it would be nearly four years before she would be diagnosed with her terminal illness. Cassidy more than rearranges the Judy Garland classic -- she reinvents it. The song is immediately familiar, yet the beautiful colors that arc the sky are very much hers. In an eerie coincidence, if one inverts the two words contained in the album's title, "Songbird" (which was taken from her straightforward rendition of the Fleetwood Mac cut), the result is "Bird Song." The irony is that "Bird Song" is the title of the Grateful Dead's ode to another phenomenal woman singer whose melodious flight was tragically cut short: Janis Joplin. One could argue that its lyrics and sentiment are equally apropos of Eva Cassidy. ~ Scott Taylor, All Music Guide

About this item

Though many recording artists meld and straddle a variety of genres, few if any defy categorization by excelling in so many disparate styles as the late Eva Cassidy. The diverse offerings from the evocative thrush from Washington, D.C. -- who died tragically of melanoma in 1996 at age 33 -- run the gamut from the radio-friendly pop cover of Sting's "Fields of Gold" to a jazz chanteuse rendition of the standard "Autumn Leaves," to the soulful R&B of Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready" to her spine-tingling gospel delivery of "Oh, Had I a Golden Thread." Cassidy's mastery of each is perhaps best evidenced by the fact that the Washington Area Music Association honored her (in 1996) as Best Female Vocalist in four separate categories: blues, jazz-contemporary, jazz-traditional and roots rock/traditional R&B, in addition to naming her Artist of the Year, and her then-current release, Live At Blues Alley, Album of the Year. Songbird is a posthumous anthology culled from that album and her other solo release, Eva By Heart, along with one track from her 1992 duet album with Chuck Brown titled The Other Side. Though the production value on several songs falls well short of state-of-the-art, the shimmering beauty of her crystal clear voice, combined with her seemingly limitless range and imaginative phrasing, cuts through to both heart and soul. Whether she beckons a soothing timbre for seductively restrained passages or shakes the rafters by unleashing her formidable power and gorgeous falsetto, Cassidy's warblings always fuse her purity of tone with a purity of emotion and a palpable connection with the lyric. Though the songs described above are luscious, the coup de maitre is the album's finale -- surely one of the great recordings in recent popular music -- Cassidy's stunning version of "Over the Rainbow." Recorded with only her own accompaniment on acoustic guitar, keyboards and synthesizer, Cassidy's voice swoops and soars over a musical panorama -- though with a wistful, melancholic shading that almost seems to betray a premonition of her own demise, despite the fact that it would be nearly four years before she would be diagnosed with her terminal illness. Cassidy more than rearranges the Judy Garland classic -- she reinvents it. The song is immediately familiar, yet the beautiful colors that arc the sky are very much hers. In an eerie coincidence, if one inverts the two words contained in the album's title, "Songbird" (which was taken from her straightforward rendition of the Fleetwood Mac cut), the result is "Bird Song." The irony is that "Bird Song" is the title of the Grateful Dead's ode to another phenomenal woman singer whose melodious flight was tragically cut short: Janis Joplin. One could argue that its lyrics and sentiment are equally apropos of Eva Cassidy. ~ Scott Taylor, All Music Guide

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Specifications

Artist: Eva Cassidy
Studio Label: CD
Edited: N
Format: CD
Enhanced: N
Number of Discs: 1
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 0.2
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 0.4 x 4.98 x 5.6
UPC: 0073934100452
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Track Listing

1. Fields Of Gold
2. Wade In The Water
3. Autumn Leaves
4. Wayfaring Stranger
5. Songbird
6. Time Is A Healer
7. I Know You By Heart
8. People Get Ready
9. Oh Had I A Golden Thread
10. Over The Rainbow
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Customer reviews

Customer Reviews | 4 reviews | 5 out of 5

5.0 stars

4 reviews | 5 out of 5

5.0 stars

4 reviews | 5 out of 5

100%
Would recommend to a friend
5 stars
4
4 stars
0
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 stars
0
1-2 of 2 total reviews
100%
Would recommend to a friend

Age

Gender

12/28/2008

Customer review by PursePerson

5.0 stars 12/28/2008 by PursePerson
by PursePerson

Songbird is one of our favorite music cd's. The music is just beautiful - the best of Eva's Cassidy's beautiful voice.

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PursePerson
PA
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
Age:55 - 64
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Gender:Female
Beautiful Music
5/10/2008

Customer review by musiclover444

5.0 stars 5/10/2008 by musiclover444
by musiclover444

This is my personal taste in music. If you like bluesy, jazzy music, with a beautiful crystaline soprano you will LOVE Eva Cassidy. I can't get enough of her. RIP Eva.

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musiclover444
Albemarle, NC
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
Age:25 - 34
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Gender:Female
Usage:Every day

Customer Reviews | 4 reviews | 5 out of 5

Customer reviews

5.0 stars
4 reviews | 5 out of 5

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