Silver Pony draws its title from an experience which Cassandra Wilson had as a child and which left an indelible mark in her memory bank, and thus on her career itself. A man came around my neighborhood in Jackson, Mississippi, with a pony and camera, she recalls. You could pay to get your picture taken. Her brothers declined, but Cassandra was eager. Her mother hesitated-there were certain things young ladies just didn't do, Wilson adds. But Cassandra seized the moment, got the picture. I'm so happy she let me ride the pony, she says now. I was fearless, and I guess she wanted to encourage that in me. That priceless photo is now featured on the cover of Silver Pony, and such fearlessness now fuels Wilson's work. I prepare for each recording but you can never truly prepare, Wilson says. Because you don't really know what's coming. You just place yourself in the circumstances that will allow the project to reveal itself.
Silver Pony was produced by Cassandra Wilson and John Fischbach (owner of Piety Street Recording Studios) and features Cassandra on vocals and synthesizer, Marvin Sewell on electric guitar, Jonathan Batiste on piano, Reginald Veal on electric bass, Herlin Riley on drums, and Lekan Babalola on percussion. Ravi Coltrane adds saxophone on Silver Moon and Watch The Sunrise features both vocals and piano by John Legend.