Sara Wasserman – Solid Ground

January 01, 1970

(That Other Label)


Sara Wasserman is talented enough so she needn’t milk an
impressive pedigree – she’s the daughter of renowned jazz bassist Rob Wasserman
– but it’s also clear she has inherited some sense of heritage and tradition.  On Solid
, Wasserman waxes eloquently on narratives about love, loss and hopeful
possibilities, doing so with a venerable stance that sound-checks a varied array
of torch singers, from Beyonce to Billy Holiday.  The fact that she dedicates her album to the
children of a South American orphanage can’t help but endear her to listeners,
but so too, starting her set with a languid entry like “Little Bird” doesn’t
exactly bode well for an upbeat impression.


Happily though, Wasserman’s able to transcend her midnight
mentality, and while the majority of the album seems suited for cocktail
accompaniment and lounge-like environs, the hip-hop pace of “Leap of Faith,”
the emphatic “Solid Ground” and the rich groove of “Need to Know” (featuring an
unobtrusive contribution from Lou Reed) add some much needed energy.  Wasserman possesses a superb set of chops –
not to mention the ability to corral an impressive array of guest stars (her
dad, Reed, Vernon Reid, bassist Christian McBride and Aaron Neville, who duets
to stunning effect on “Fly Away”) – but she’s retreading turf that’s been sufficiently
well trod.  And that places Solid Ground on less than solid terrain.


“Fly Away,” “Need to Know” LEE ZIMMERMAN


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