Cassandra Wilson Says 'Happy 100th, Lady Day'

April 7, 2015 4:03 PM

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Cassandra Wilson Says 'Happy 100th, Lady Day'

Of the many tributes to Billie Holiday's 100th birthday today (April 7), the most compelling I've heard is Cassandra Wilson's Sony Legacy album Coming Forth By Day, a strange, atmospheric brew produced by Nick Launay (whose credits include music by Nick Cave and Arcade Fire) with shimmering string arrangements by the incomparable Van Dyke Parks. The record manages to evoke Holiday's sad, beautiful spirit -- she died in 1959 -- without sounding remotely like her.

Coming Forth features a profound take on "Crazy He Calls Me," a song first recorded by Holiday in October 1949, shortly after my father, Carl Sigman, and his collaborator, Bob Russell, finished writing it. I was born just a couple of months before its release as a single, so I've always considered i...

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