Mojo (Publisher) (p.90) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[M]inimalist production values prevail and succeed in high-lighting the beautiful -- and often hauntingly melancholic -- sonorities of Wilson's pipes."
Entertainment Weekly (9/5/97, p.77) - "Unpretentious, witty and gently swinging....[ALL SIDES NOW] pairs Martino with fellow guitarists plus one vocalist, Cassandra Wilson." - Rating: B+
Rolling Stone (9/30/99, p.87) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...[revives] the master's dynamic orchestrations and elegant drifts and still [moves] forward. Eclectic guitarist Bill Frisell offers a debonair solution on this set of arrangements..."Entertainment Weekly (10/15/99, p.83) - "...Frisell turns an intriguing concept into a lovely and mostly instrumental project....[His] attitude toward idiom is slippery and generous." - Rating: B+CMJ (11/1/99, p.30) - "...Bill Frisell set out to record a full band interpretation of [Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello's] PAINTED FROM MEMORY using a cast of stars....Frisell's distinctly different versions bear the leader's stamp both as a player and as an arranger."JazzTimes (12/99, pp.147-8) - "...Frisell works up soulful, horn chart-laced readings of the songs, with such comrades as drummer Brian Blades, Don Byron, Ron Miles, and Curtis Fowlkes....This is brainy music...with beauty in mind, which makes the like-minded closet romantic Frisell a perfect match."
Rolling Stone (3/24/94, p.93) - 3 1/2 Stars - Very Good - "...surround[s] a handful of Wilson's own songs with selections from more contemporary writers and break[s] exciting new ground with two selections from the Delta blues songbook of Robert Johnson...."Entertainment Weekly (11/12/93, p.65) - "...Wilson makes the strongest impact yet on [BLUE LIGHT 'TIL DAWN]...Wilson's husky voice hums and shivers with a dry, evocative soulfulness..." - Rating: A-Down Beat (12/93, p.47) - 5 Stars - Excellent - "...Wilson's strongest most consistent recording....creates a new environment for her distinctive vocals: acoustic, open and earthy....she sees beyond distinctions of style and genre...BLUE LIGHT should win her many new admirers...."Vibe (9/93, p.134) - "...waxes nostalgic for the days when black romance meant more than `I Want A Gangsta Bitch' and throws some new twists into our conception of jazz standards..."Musician (1/94, p.90) - "...A hushed masterpiece of torrid romanticism, [BLUE LIGHT 'TIL DAWN] is at once [Cassandra Wilson's] most assured and daring album to date..."Village Voice (3/1/94, p.5) - Ranked #34 in the Village Voice's 1993 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.Stereo Review (2/94, p.134) - "...her improvisational skills are formidable, and she can take a song and mold it sensuously into pure poetry...Cassandra Wilson is a captivating, musical storyteller..."
Down Beat (8/97, p.57) - 3 stars (out of 5) - "...Elling spills his guts on every song, and what he does is indisputably jazz....he sells every song so hard....we will hear more from Kurt Elling..."JazzTimes (9/97, p.86) - "...Elling once again hits gold....Throughout, one is impressed by Elling's heartfelt immediacy, his extraordinary versatility and vocal finesse....Elling sounds a note at once contemporary and timeless..."
Spin (p.91) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[A] consistently fine tribute. Most remarkable is how each Joni supplicant is able to still exude his or her own essence."No Depression (p.84) - "[E]ach track has its own merits, and none exist only as placeholders for the real thing....A key to why this disc works is the pairing of performer and song."
Entertainment Weekly (1/9/97, pp.66-67) - "...It's less a soundtrack than a late-set jam at a swanky supper club....the album's uniform mood and arrangements [are] rare for a pop soundtrack..." - Rating: B+
Rolling Stone (11/14/96, pp.114-116) - 3.5 Stars (out of 5) "...still highlighting urban blight but not drowning in despair and hopelessness....the Roots are not afraid to take rap to places it's never been. Hip-hop manifested for the new millenium..."Spin (1/97, p.59) - Ranked #20 on Spin's list of the "20 Best Albums of '96."Spin (10/96, p.130) - 9 (out of 10) - "...Discarding the two-dimensional shuffle B-Boys have been doing of late, the moves on this album holler equal parts glee, anger, love, and hate....It's an artistic progression, and added confirmation of the Roots' place at hip-hop's vanguard."Entertainment Weekly (9/27/96, pp.80-81) - "...the Roots prove doubters wrong with bugged-out rhymes and jazzy live instrumentations....with guests like Q-Tip, D'Angelo and jazz diva Cassandra Wilson, the Roots will have `fans listenin' from Michigan to Switzerland'...in no time." - Rating: A-Alternative Press (2/97, p.68) - 3 (out of 5) - "...the Roots built a disc that takes listeners on a patient, freestyle rhyming trip through some of their psyches' darker streets..."Vibe (10/96, p.138) - "...the Philly crew bob and weave past potential sophomore slump with the vigor of a sprightly Smokin' Joe Frazier....ILLADELPH HALFLIFE also attempts to expand the Roots' sound by blending samples and inviting guest vocalists..."The Source (10/96, p.117) - 4.5 Mics (out of 5) - "...an emotional and spiritually-fulfilling aural experience....the Roots blend vibes with a cornucopia of rappers, vocalists and artists..."Melody Maker (10/12/96, p.18) - "...Melancholy and bliss combined. The Roots have perfected their narco drift. Navigating dub space, they veer from classical exotica to free jazz to African thumb piano and further out still..."Rap Pages (10/96, p.33) - "...The Roots' sophomore album...sets the standard for all other MCs to follow as they prepare for the next millennium....They are the saving grace of a phoenix, and this is Hip-Hop."Village Voice (2/25/97) - Ranked #33 in the Village Voice's 1996 Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll.