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Traveling Miles (1999)

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Dave Holland

A tribute album by Cassandra Wilson to Miles Davis seems like a very logical idea, but this CD is actually less than one would expect. Wilson's deep voice gives a downbeat feel to the music, her lyrics for such Davis-associated songs as "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down," "Seven Steps to Heaven," "ESP," "Tutu," and "Blue in Green" are forgettable, and her interpretations smooth down most of the melodies, robbing them of their personality. Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" and "Someday My Prince Will Come" fare better, but most of the set (which includes three unrelated originals) is as boring as Cassandra Wilson's voice. Despite the presence of some notable all-stars (including Steve Coleman, Stefon Harris, Regina Carter, and Pat Metheny), this is a misfire. ~ Scott Yanow