“Perhaps that was the greater task for this clearly gifted jazz vocalist—maintaining her own voice—her own sound and style—while seeking to approach the work of one of the greatest singers of all time.
What she does with “I Want You” is just magical—it’s the heart of Gaye but with the vocal inflections of Dinah (Washington) or perhaps Nancy (Wilson). There are two cuts that you don’t want to miss on this CD. The first is “If This World Were Mine”. The second is one which only the most ardent Gaye fan will even remember, “Til Tomorrow”—a beautiful and moving song which “Cass” makes her own.
Sometimes McKinley interprets the music in such a manner that you think you’re in a Louisiana speakeasy while at other times it’s almost like a song made for an old-fashioned hoe down in the Bluegrass state of Kentucky. And yet the spirit of Marvin Gaye is still present. “You done good sister.” Listen for yourself, but from this writer’s perspective, Brother Mar”
“If you're already a fan of Boston-based chanteuse Cassandre McKinley, much of this rich, sensual salute to the music of Marvin Gaye might ignite a felling of déja vu.
Wisely, given her warm, carametl-flavored voice - rather Carole King via Nancy Wilson, with a layer of Aretha Franklin icing - McKinley never attempts to get sown to Gaye's inimitable nitty-gritty. Instead, she cleverly inverts the essence of each tune, re-channeling them from a distinctly female perspective. So, her "Trouble Man" is less rumble and more sass, "I Want You" reverberates with a softly yearning starriness (sounding, with it's easy samba vibe, like it was freshly plucked from the Brasil '66 songbook) and, most notably, the strained sexual heat of Gaye's "Let's Get It On" is transformed into five-and-a-half minutes of teasing foreplay.
"McKinley's version of "I Wish It Would
Rain" is moving enough to bring
precipitation to the desert"
The Boston Globe