Picks and Pans Review: Nancy Wilson

updated 08/28/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/28/2006 01:00AM

Turned to Blue
REVIEWED BY V.R. PETERSON
JAZZ

Wilson, 2004's Grammy winner for best jazz vocal album, takes her song lyrics personally, infusing them with fresh meaning while extracting ever-surprising emotions. That skill delights throughout this fine set, on which Wilson is surrounded by big-band arrangements, reflective sextets and guest soloists including flautist Hubert Laws. She cruises through Ellington's "Take Love Easy" but flares dramatically on pop covers like "Just Once." The originals also impress: The title cut makes a Maya Angelou poem a percussive lament, and "Knitting Class" needles with attitude: "I'll be fine without you/Life is not about you."

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DOWNLOAD THIS: "Knitting Class"

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