||[08 Feb 2004|12:28am]
Earlier tonight, I saw Cassandra Wilson perform at the Berklee Performance Center.
What a great show. I knew it would be good, but I didn't know it would be great. I'm not the biggest fan of vocalists. I'm usually there for the piano player.
But tonight there was no piano player.
There were a couple of surprises that made the show great. And I don't think it was just the residue of Henry Rollins in the Performance Center air.
Two drummers. Both with pretty full sets, one playing with his hands, the other with sticks. Lively. Watching this guy swat cymbals with his bare hands and work a pedal bass along with his congas was a treat.
And the other drummer was Terri Lyne Carrington (www.terrilynecarrington.com - though this seems to be a Flash site, and do you know how much I hate flash?), who I had no idea was going to be a part of this show. She's fantastic, and a Buddhist IIRC. The concentration she showed the whole night made me want to work harder at life. Not to mention, you have to love anyone who's initials are TLC.
The bassist, guitarist (he also took up the banjo) and harmonica player were impressive. Can't say I was really expecting a harmonica, either, but actually it was the main melody instrument throughout the show and was, well, hot.
And Cassandra Wilson was incredible, playful and energetic. But you knew that. She gave plenty of space to her band to do their thing, something a lot of vocalists forget/neglect to do. She danced, she sang, she asked what happens when you google Google.
I won't try to reproduce a set list, I'm terrible with titles. The closing duet with vocals and bass on Sly's Stay was alone worth the ticket price. If only it had been longer...