Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 4 December 1955, Jackson MS) Singer. Came to prominence with the M-BASE movement, made a series of albums for JMT drifting uneasily between jazz and funk/rap; Point of View '85, Days Aweigh '87 were typical; but she achieved critical acclaim with standards album Blue Skies '88. Later JMT albums returned to a somewhat unfocused eclecticism (Point Of View, Jumpworld, She Who Weeps and Live '90-93, many appearing on Verve in USA), but returned to form with Blue Light 'Til Dawn '93 on Blue Note, touching bases from Robert Johnson to Joni Mitchell with aplomb. She still seemed to promise more than she delivered; then New Moon Daughter '96 was even more eclectic, but now more focused: she brings her excellent voice and jazz experience to everything from Hoagy Carmichael to Hank Williams, and it began to work, though some found her detached and lacking warmth and her ballad treatments tending towards sameness. She also appeared on Air Show No. 1 on Black Saint (see Air), albums with Steve Coleman, etc. Rendezvous '97 was a duo with pianist Jacky Terrasson.