New Album "Dragonfly"
On her fifth studio recording, jazz vocalist Cassandre McKinley forcefully embraces music from a mix of musical styles. Artfully and soulfully, she blurs the hazy lines between genres and in doing so, underscores the essence of jazz. Dragonflyis a solid and much more personal follow to any of her previous recordings, as she selected each tune with care, then transformed this material from a variety of genres – a bit of jazz, some pop, R&B and soul, plus a healthy dose of country – and delivered them as her own, freshening them with her vocal twists and personal experience to make these songs live again, as they should, for expanded audiences.
Award-winning jazz journalist Ken Franckling reflected in his essay about Dragonfly,“McKinley’s cover of Elvis Presley’s 1960 hit ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight’ is a beauty, even more knowing and heart-felt than those of Frank Sinatra, Donny Osmond and Bryan Ferry.”
Read more from Ken Franckling's essay here.
McKinley is best known for her powerhouse voice and stylistic versatility, renowned for spirited and emotional performances with a presence on stage that is exuberant and passionate yet warm and disarming.
1. PLAIN GOLD RING (George Stone)
2. ALL ALONE AM I (Altman/Hadjidakis)
3. LET IT BE ME (Becaud/Delano/Walden/Curtis)
4. LONELY WINE (Roy Wells)
5. I MISS YOU SO (Henderson/Scott/Robin)
6. CHANGE YOUR MIND (McKinley/D’Antona)
7. DO I MOVE YOU (Simone)
8. MAMA (Orbison/Melson/Rush)
9. ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT (Handman/Turk)
10. OUT OF THE RAIN (Tony Joe White)
FROM THE ARTIST
To the Japanese, dragonflies represent evolution, emotional maturity, fearlessness and forward motion. They never travel backwards. For me, they signaled it was time to draw attention to my future and surrender the pains of the past. Two (or so) years ago, I was on a contemplative walk through a local state park - a favorite spot of mine - where I often took pleasure in exploring the many trails and wildlife. I spontaniously stopped to lay in an open meadow abundant with tall grass, flora and wildflowers. As I gazed up at blue skies and ruminated over the many new and difficult changes that had taken place in my life as of late, including the recent passing of my father, I was suddenly aware that humming around me were dozens of dragonflies! I was transformed momentarily, immersed in a feeling of tranquility and peace - and hope. I sighed deeply and fully. It was going to be ok.
Much of the content on this album calls to those times when we have to find the strength to know when it is time to let go, look ahead and travel boldly and optimistically down a sometimes-uncertain path. The artists I've covered are some of my Father's favorites - and the dragonflies have been speaking to me ever since that day in the meadow. This album is my homage to both of them. - Cass xo