Silver Pony, the stunning new album from multiple Grammy Award-winning jazz-pop chanteuse Cassandra Wilson, will be released by EMI's Blue Note Records on November 9. Wilson, whose remarkable, husky-tinged vibrato has created a trademark sound for her as an artist, will be touring worldwide in support of the release which features special guests saxophonist Ravi Coltrane ("Silver Moon") and R&B singer-songwriter John Legend ("Watch The Sunrise").
A unique hybrid live/studio album, Silver Pony moves seamlessly between live recordings from a European tour and studio recordings laid down at New Orleans' Piety Street Studios. The album features a mix of jazz/pop classics as well as songs newly-written by Cassandra and her band.
Silver Pony draws its title from an experience which Cassandra had as a child and which left an indelible mark in her memory bank, and thus on her career itself. "A man came around my neighborhood in Jackson, Mississippi, with a pony and camera," she recalls. "You could pay to get your picture taken." Her brothers declined, but Cassandra was eager. Her mother hesitated-"there were certain things young ladies just didn't do," Wilson adds. But Cassandra seized the moment, got the picture. "I'm so happy she let me ride the pony," she says now. "I was fearless, and I guess she wanted to encourage that in me." That priceless photo is now featured on the cover of "Silver Pony," and such fearlessness now fuels Wilson's work. "I prepare for each recording but you can never truly prepare," Wilson says. "Because you don't really know what's coming. You just place yourself in the circumstances that will allow the project to reveal itself."
Silver Pony was produced by Cassandra Wilson and John Fischbach (owner of Piety Street Recording Studios) and features Cassandra on vocals and synthesizer, Marvin Sewell on electric guitar, Jonathan Batiste on piano, Reginald Veal on electric bass, Herlin Riley on drums, and Lekan Babalola on percussion. Ravi Coltrane adds saxophone on "Silver Moon" and "Watch The Sunrise" features both vocals and piano by John Legend.
A complete track listing is as follows:
1. Lover Come Back To Me 6:51 (Hammerstein/Romberg)
2. St. James Infirmary 7:12 (Traditional)
3. A Night in Seville 3:00 (Wilson/Sewell/Veal/Riley/Batiste/Babalola)
4. Silver Moon 6:41 (Wilson/Sewell/Veal/Riley/Batiste/Babalola)
5. Pony Blues 9:32 (Patton)
6. If It's Magic 4:34 (Wonder)
7. Forty Days and Forty Nights 4:58 (Roth)
8. Silver Pony 0:36 (Wilson/Sewell/Veal/Riley/Batiste/Babalola)
9. A Day in the Life of a Fool 7:35 (Bonfa/Sigman)
10. Blackbird 6:43 (Lennon/McCartney)
11. Sunrise 3:32 (Laird/Jones/Stephens)