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Essence of Nancy Wilson: Four Decades of Music by Nancy Wilson

Nancy Wilson is one of the first ladies of jazz. She has some fine company mentioned frequently in the same breath. Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan would be the first that come to mind. She has an enormous catalog of recorded works, mainly with Capitol Records. This four disc set is comprised of the following: Disc One is "Spanning the Decades," it contains rare singles and hits; Disc Two is a collection of 23 previously unreleased cuts, including an unreleased "Live at the Sands" album from August 1968, titled "From the Vaults." Disc Three was selected by Miss Wilson herself and its appropriately titled "Nancy's Choice;" Disc Four is "Hidden Gems," featuring 18 tracks released for the first time on CD in the US.

Just to give you idea of the length of this set, I began listening to it around 2 A.M. and it ended around 6:30PM. Now that is a solid chunk of music, and its all quality material. As noted by friends and business associates in the beautiful book that accompanies this set, Wilson is a genuine and quality individual that is respected and admired by everyone that has come into contact with her or has had the pleasure to work with her. She is also as beautiful as her voice, and she is getting more beautiful with each passing day. Just look at her on the cover of this boxed set, isn’t she a gorgeous women? I can’t imagine how many men feel in love with this woman, and her voice is so smooth and sweet.... that’s a deadly combination for any man. I have the distinct feeling by listening to her music that she has always been a spiritually grounded individual with two feet firmly planted below her.

I must point out that it’s quite extraordinary to offer so much quality consistently with such a large volume of material. It’s not only appealing, it’s admirable and uncommon. This serves as a slice of history and heaven for all of those that have followed Wilson’s career. It can be enjoyed equally by folks that haven’t heard of her, those who like to snuggle up with a book, and others that curl up next to a fireplace to chill out and relax; this is music perfect for those occasions. Wilson has an effect on you that’s calming, spiritual, and sexually attractive all at the same time. The broad base of styles covered in these songs is out of the ordinary for any artist. Although she has been placed into the jazz-pop category, she goes above and beyond that. Some of the influences you will hear are quite different than jazz and pop. Blues, rhythm and blues, and some night club Vegas type music (on the live cuts) are found sprinkled about these four discs.

This is not quintessential Nancy Wilson by any means, its only one aspect of a glorious career. Is there any way that a label could produce the essential collection for her? I doubt it, unless they are willing to issue a 10 CD boxed set, only then would it cover her career in depth enough. If you can’t wait for that ultimate set this would be good place to start. Collectors and diehard fans will be all over this collection. Even though I wouldn’t consider myself a big a fan like some people, I sure enjoyed this and would welcome music by Miss Wilson any day of the week. She is a shining star amongst stars, and her career has been larger than life. This boxed set should not be missed by people whom enjoy pop and jazz or any combination thereof. The crossover appeal is very strong and effective because of her diverse catalog. Those who enjoy Diana Ross and Dion Warwick will love this. I am sure if you go out and buy this that you will find a lot to relate to in the music. The enjoyment that the music and words generate is an exceptional experience for anyone that loves the purity and emotion of music.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Nancy Wilson
  • CD Title: Essence of Nancy Wilson: Four Decades of Music
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: Capitol
  • Rating: Five Stars
Morrice Blackwell

Owner and publisher of, Morrice Blackwell is a christian husband dad jazz fan website developing marketing manager basketball playing engineer that lives for photography.

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