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Lizz Wright - Dreaming Wide Awake - Verve

Vocalist Lizz Wright was introduced to XPN listeners in 2003 when she released her debut album, Salt. With an eclectic mix of traditional jazz, R&B and soul/folk, Wright’s sultry vocals and warm, organic songs quickly won fans around the world with Salt's release and Lizz’s dazzling live performances. Salt was an XPN Featured Album of the week in June of '03, and came in at no. 21 in the Top 50 Countdown that same year.

Almost two years after her debut, Ms. Wright returns with Dreaming Wide Awake which delivers on the promise and potential of her debut album. Produced by Craig Street, the album features guest appearances from jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, keyboardist Patrick Warren, Marc Anthony Thompson, Toshi Reagon, and Jesse Harris.

Ms. Wright once again chooses some very interesting covers as well as writing several original songs. The covers embrace a wide range of influences. From Joe Henry’s “Stop,” and Neil Young’s “Old Man,” to Ella Jenkins’ “Wake Up, Little Sparrow,” and “Get Together” (the Youngbloods’ 60’s anthemic hit song written by Chester Powers), Lizz’s interpretation of these songs is distinctive. Just when you thought you could do without another cover of the classic “A Taste Of Honey,” Lizz approaches the song with vibrancy and brings a new sense of history to it.

XPN named Lizz Wright an Artist To Watch in 2003; given the breadth and excellence of her new album, we’re still watching her and with all good reason.

Written by Bruce Warren

Release date: June 14, 2005

XPN CD of the Month for June, 2005

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