Cassandra Wilson

With a hoarse, scratchy, guttural contralto and an astounding rhythmic sense, Cassandra Wilson is a fine jazz singer who could maneuver her vocals naturally between word and wordless performances. Accompanied by Mulgrew Miller on piano, Lonnie Plaxico on bass, and Terri Lyne Carrington on drums, Wilson reinvigorates standards—including “Shall We Dance,” “Gee Baby Ain’t I Good to You,” and “My One and Only Love—in her Blue Skies, an album I have been jamming to again and again for her exotic scat-singings. I just can’t get enough of those sultry, horn-like, wordless improvisations.