by Jim Ridley
By now you've probably already got tickets for jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson's performance tonight at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. She's performing at 8 p.m. with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and conductor Matt Catingub as part of the NSO's Jazz Series, in a program that includes a selection of Nat King Cole favorites ranging from "Route 66" and "Mona Lisa" to Eden Ahbez's "Nature Boy." (Your goofy trivia fact for the day: She'll also perform Cole's hit "Orange Colored Sky," whose author, Milton DeLugg, was also the music director for The Gong Show and penned the theme song "Hooray for Santy Claus" for Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.)
But if you somehow still need convincing, check out her gorgeous cover of perhaps the prettiest song Jimi Hendrix ever wrote, "The Wind Cries Mary." It's not as bluesy and psychedelic as Hendrix's version, but her smoky vocals really bring out the woozy, melancholy beauty of the lyrics ("The traffic lights, they turn up blue tomorrow ..."). Good music for a grey Friday.