Before there was Norah Jones, there was Eva Cassidy. Pretty, spirited and very talented when it came to genre-crossing folk, blues, jazz, pop, etc. (before it was marketable), singer/guitarist Cassidy left behind a beautiful, breathtaking body of work. Sadly, she died of bone cancer in 1996, at age 33, before she would soar to huge popularity in England and across Europe. It is also only posthumously that she is starting to get some of the recognition she deserves in her native United States.
On her 2002 CD, Imagine, a compilation of previously unreleased tracks (Hot Records/Didgeridoo Records, UK release: go to www.hotrecords.com.au), Cassidy is heard covering a range of tunes, from the classic standard “Fever” (of Peggy Lee fame), to John Lennon’s “Imagine,” to the Gordon Lightfoot folk standard “Early Morning Rain,” to a particularly exquisite version of the melancholy jazz tune “You’ve Changed,” in no way overshadowed by the better known and extremely moving Billie Holiday version. Some tracks feature Cassidy alone, singing and accompanying herself on guitar; some include other players, such as her brother, Dan Cassidy, whose sweet, crying violin on the Sandy Denny classic “Who Knows Where The Time Goes?” fits perfectly with his sister’s stirring vocal performance.
Eva Cassidy is a lovely gem truly worth discovering.
(Go to www.evacassidy.org for more info.)