Immortal Memory is a collaboration between vocalist Lisa Gerrard and Irish composer Patrick Cassidy. Billed as a cycle of life and death and rebirth, Immortal Memory is better described as an orphaned film score. Cassidy's warm arrangements allow the former Dead Can Dance singer to step out of the dark medieval world that she's called home for nearly 20 years – though there is much of that world within these castle walls – and focus on the simplicity of love, faith, and loss with a grace that's bereft of the icy perfection of her previous work. Gerrard, whose voice has aged like the finest oak, displays an almost supernatural mastery of the material. Her effortless contralto wraps itself around the ten Gaelic, Latin, and Aramaic spirituals like an evening prayer, making each stunning entrance the equivalent of audio comfort food.
The late Eva Cassidy gained a loyal following in the Washington, D.C., area through appearances in small clubs, utilizing her pitch-perfect singing voice to interpret a variety of tunes ranging from standards to modern-era pop songs. A notoriously shy performer, Eva Cassidy had a somewhat stiff stage presence, but she endeared herself to her audiences by performing songs she obviously loved, combining elements of soul, gospel, blues, and jazz. Live at Blues Alley is an excellent showcase for her vocal talents and her ability to make even the most familiar tune uniquely her own. Admittedly, the titles on Live at Blues Alley seem like a set list for a bad Vegas lounge act; songs such as Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek" and Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" have been done to death for decades. Fortunately, Eva Cassidy had…
Eva Cassidy demanded a lot from herself and she refused a recordcontract with Blue Note. Recordings that she made, circulated in small circles after her death. The way in which she made well-known songs her own, drew the attention, though. The cd Songbird with heartbreakingly beautiful songs, was released in 2001 and became a huge succes all over the world. New tapes came from all nooks and crannies and seven more albums saw the light from that moment on.
In her brief lifetime, vocalist Eva Cassidy probably never thought that she would one day have something in common with rap legend 2Pac. But in the years following their deaths (oddly enough, both in 1996), studio and live recordings of the artists have continuously been unearthed and released to an eager public. Although 2Pac's musical vault seems to be never-ending, it appears that Eva Cassidy's savings box may have finally been emptied with the issuance of the Blix Street compilation Wonderful World. Mostly comprised of songs culled from her posthumous releases, Wonderful World seems to signal that there is precious little left that hasn't been heard and that a second "best-of" is an appropriate way to sum up Cassidy's recorded legacy.