Songbird

( 46 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Scott Taylor
Though many recording artists meld and straddle a variety of genres, few if any defy categorization by excelling in so many disparate styles as the late Eva Cassidy. The diverse offerings from the evocative thrush from Washington, D.C. -- who died tragically of melanoma in 1996 at age 33 -- run the gamut from the radio-friendly pop cover of Sting's "Fields of Gold" to a jazz chanteuse rendition of the standard "Autumn Leaves" to the soulful R&B of Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready" to her spine-tingling gospel delivery of "Oh, Had I a Golden Thread." Cassidy's mastery of each is perhaps best evidenced by the fact that the Washington Area Music Association honored her...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Scott Taylor
Though many recording artists meld and straddle a variety of genres, few if any defy categorization by excelling in so many disparate styles as the late Eva Cassidy. The diverse offerings from the evocative thrush from Washington, D.C. -- who died tragically of melanoma in 1996 at age 33 -- run the gamut from the radio-friendly pop cover of Sting's "Fields of Gold" to a jazz chanteuse rendition of the standard "Autumn Leaves" to the soulful R&B of Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready" to her spine-tingling gospel delivery of "Oh, Had I a Golden Thread." Cassidy's mastery of each is perhaps best evidenced by the fact that the Washington Area Music Association honored her in 1996 as Best Female Vocalist in four separate categories: blues, contemporary jazz, traditional jazz, and roots rock/traditional R&B, in addition to naming her Artist of the Year, and her then-current release, Live at Blues Alley, Album of the Year. Songbird is a posthumous anthology culled from that album and her other solo release, Eva by Heart, along with one track from her 1992 duet album with Chuck Brown titled The Other Side. Though the production value on several songs falls well short of state of the art, the shimmering beauty of her crystal-clear voice, combined with her seemingly limitless range and imaginative phrasing, cuts through to both heart and soul. Whether she beckons a soothing timbre for seductively restrained passages or shakes the rafters by unleashing her formidable power and gorgeous falsetto, Cassidy's warblings always fuse her purity of tone with a purity of emotion and a palpable connection with the lyric. Though the songs described above are luscious, the coup de maƮtre is the album's finale -- surely one of the great recordings in popular music of the time -- Cassidy's stunning version of "Over the Rainbow." Recorded with only her own accompaniment on acoustic guitar, keyboards, and synthesizer, Cassidy's voice swoops and soars over a musical panorama -- though with a wistful, melancholic shading that almost seems to betray a premonition of her own demise, despite the fact that it would be nearly four years before she would be diagnosed with her terminal illness. Cassidy more than rearranges the Judy Garland classic -- she reinvents it. The song is immediately familiar, yet the beautiful colors that arc the sky are very much hers. In an eerie coincidence, if one inverts the two words contained in the album's title, Songbird which was taken from her straightforward rendition of the Fleetwood Mac cut, the result is "Bird Song." The irony is that "Bird Song" is the title of the Grateful Dead's ode to another phenomenal woman singer whose melodious flight was tragically cut short: Janis Joplin. One could argue that its lyrics and sentiment are equally apropos of Eva Cassidy.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/19/1998
  • Label: Blix Street
  • UPC: 739341004520
  • Catalog Number: 410045
  • Sales rank: 5,841

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Eva Cassidy Primary Artist, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Lenny Williams Piano
Chris Walker Trumpet
Dan Cassidy Violin
Mike Stein Violin
Kent Wood Organ
Chris Biondo Bass, Guitar
Hilton Felton Organ
Keith Grimes Guitar
Larry Melton Upright Bass
John Gillespie Organ
Raice McLeod Drums
Technical Credits
Kent Wood Engineer
Eva Cassidy Arranger, Producer
Chris Biondo Producer, Engineer, drum programming
Roy Battle Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 46 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(43)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    One of my favorites!!

    This album by Eva Cassidy is truly one of my favorites of all time. Her renditions of Leaves of Gold and Over the Rainbow are beautiful. Her voice soars and she contributes these well known standards in her own unique style.
    A friend gave me my first Eva Cassidy CD and after falling in love with her I found out that she had already passed to her heavenly reward. How sad for us - although I am thankful for the beautiful CD's and songs she recorded while she was alive.
    This album is especially enjoyable because of the wonderful mix of slow ballads and upbeat, fun songs that keep you tapping your toes.
    I would recommend this CD to anyone who enjoys excellent music.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Sings like a bird

    I love Eva's voice. I am an instrumental music specialist and don't usually enjoy vocal music as much. She pours her soul into everything she sings. That is the essence of music making.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    true story

    I was in the local Barnes and Noble store recently just browsing the CD'S of various artists and right next to me there was a stranger. He happened to pick up one of Eva Cassady's albums and my curiosity took the better of me. I had to ask the stranger about her. The stranger informed me that she was popular in the Washington D.C. area and that she had passed away. I told the stranger that I never heard of her. Later in the day, I went on to the Barnes and Noble web site and was surprised at how wonderful she sang. It is sad to think that she had left the world too soon, I guess heaven was in need of another great singer. Now looking back, perhaps that stranger was sent to me by Eva. Whatever the reason may be, Eva Cassidy's voice will life forever.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Turned on to Eva Cassidy

    It was a number of years ago that my husband and I turned on to Eva Cassidy. Our local NPR station was doing a retrospective of her life and music and played a few of her songs. We both heard "Fields of Gold" and went "Oh, my God!" while sitting in the car. What a pure tone, clear and strong! We went out and bought Songbird right away. My favorite songs are the above mentioned, and "Autumn Leaves". Such a soulful, mellow rendition. We love Eva and are so thankful we discovered her. What a gift and what an untimely departure. I hope more people learn about her music.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    What a voice...

    If you don't already love Eva Cassidy... get ready. Her voice is amazing and she has an incredible ability to sing such different types of music, which ironically enough is the very reason she had difficulty signing a recording contract... she refused to be categorized. This CD, along with "Songbird", are a must-have addition to your music collection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    CAPTIVATING, RICH, SOULFUL, VOICE

    I was just recently introduced to Eva Cassidy's CD Songbird, (which is a compilation of some of her previously recorded songs) and let me tell you, she has a POWERFUL voice! Just thinking about the melodic sound of her voice brings chills to my arms. I was so moved emotionally by her singing. Her Songbird album is a little jazz, folk, blues, honky tonk, R&B, gospel, pop, classic rock all rolled up into one. I can't say enough about her. Her voice transcends racial lines and music genres. I'm a 51-year old African American female and the person who turned me on to her is a 55-year old African American female who was turned on to her by an African American male. She crossed over racial and gender lines and her music can never be called white music or black music, her voice and style is heart's music. It belongs to all of us! Oh how I wish that I could have had the pleasure of seeing her in concert. What a treat that would have been! The person who turned me on to her saw her in concert with Chuck Brown, and she speaks about it with such excitement in her voice as if she experienced it yesterday. Eva was a special musical gift to the world. I hope she knew that. It would be sad and a shame if she left this earth not knowing how special she was. Thanks Eva for not denying us the pleasure of your beautiful, soulful voice.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    if nature was given a voice then it was given to eva cassidy

    its odd to think that such a beautiful and blessed person was made to die so young. there is no talent now that matches that of eva cassidys.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Simply Wonderful

    This was my first Eva Cassidy CD four years ago and remains my co-favorite with "Time After Time". Her versitility was incredible. Name it, she did it; gospel, blues, country, pop and ballad.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    hauntingly beautiful

    Each song is done so well, Songbird unsurpasses all. I play it over and over and weep to think this voice is no longer here. Thank goodness I bought this cd today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Eva's voice makes my soul sing

    I was introduced to Eva's magical voice and worndeful interpretation of words by a friend during my stay in East Timor. Together we listen to the album "Songbird" - I had never before listen to such a magic voice, somehow my soul was singing with her. My friend give me the CD and her songs are a reference to a magical time in my life. When I am sad I listen to her. When I miss someone that I love I listen to her. Her voice has the magic to make my soul feel better. I believe that some people come to the world to make us understand the magical and beauty of life. She was one of them. Through her voice and her very unique way of interpreting the lyrics, I am able to reach my own spirituality in a very sensuous way. Songbird, Fields of Gold, Time Is a Healer, I Know You by Heart, are among the songs that mostly has touched my heart and life. Thank you Eva.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Simply the best

    Unfortunately I can not buy a new Eva CD as I already have them all. Too many great renditions of classics by her to pick out one as my favorite, but "I Know You By Heart", "Over The Rainbow" and "Fields OF Gold" are a great place to start. What would she be singing for us now??

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    enchanting and hauntingly beautiful

    My sister gave me this CD at Christmas and I have played almost nothing else since then. Eva's voice is nothing short of incredible. I can listen to her for hours on end. I love the title song "Songbird" (incl. the guitar solo) and "I love you by Heart" is awesome.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    touched my heart

    If this music doesn't deeply touch you, nothing will. My spine just tingles and the emotions run rampid! I have purchased 3 cd's since buying the "Songbird" recording, no other artist like her! When playing the track "Wade in the Water", my two yr old saw me snapping my fingers to the beat and she was pointing a finger on each hand, had her eyes closed and was moving in rythim to the music for the entire song...if it can affect her, it can you as well. Enjoy

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The true Songbird

    Songbird is my ultimate anthem. I play it at least twice daily. It's such a pity Eva is no longer with us, but her legacy lives on.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Breathtaking

    Eva Cassidy has a beautiful voice that brings tears to your eyes. Unfortunately I did not discover her music until after her death. I highly recommend this CD to anyone her enjoys REAL music!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    MY AUTUMN WITH EVA IN CONNECTICUT

    I first heard Eva Cassidy's stunning rendition of Fields of Gold on a local college radio station when I was driving to work. Shortly thereafter, I bought the Songbird CD. Eva Cassidy's voice is sweet, full of emotion, hope, and strength. Though she dabbles with a couple of upbeat cuts, her "finest hour" is when she sings ballads. A bit disappointing was her version of Curtis Mayfield's People Get Ready, which doesn't quite achieve its aim; it begs harmonies that are noticeably absent. Though all of her songs are pleasant, three cuts surpass the rest---'Fields, ' Over the Rainbow, and Johnny Mercer's Autumn Leaves. The lyrics and music of 'Autumn' speak of the indescribable pain of love lost--made more poignant and palpable by the waning days of autumn in Connecticut. On a lighter note, her version of Over the Rainbow is sweet and melodious, and would make the late, great Judy Garland proud. Eva sings of love and life. How unfortunate to have lost such a gem.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    In Touch with Your Soul

    I never heard of Eva Cassidy until the night I watched an episode of Nightline Upclose. I was so very moved by Eva Cassidy and her music. Her voice and the way she sang. Oh, my goodness! I have ranted and raved to my daughter about what I saw and heard. Although in body she is no longer with us, her spirit certainly is through her music. Her voice as she sang her songs touched deep in my soul.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent!

    Probably my favorite Eva CD. She reminds me of my other favorite modern singer, Genie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    BRAVO - What an EXTRAORDINARY Artist & Talent

    Had never even heard of Eva but found this CD when searching for an interesting and more contemporary rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Listened to all the samples from this CD and then could hardly wait for its delivery. I've not been disappointed. Now knowing of her untimely death, can't help but mourn the world's loss of such a gift. If this was vinyl I would probably wear it out in less than a year. In those moments of the otherwise quiet darkness of the night while listening to this CD, she transports you to a higher state of grace. The voice of an angel who has found her place soothing the soul of heaven.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beautiful but Melancholy

    This CD is hard to classify. It contains a little jazz, folk and pop but it has a melancholy beauty that's irresistable. A terrific voice.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews