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Chris Connor In Person

Chris Connor

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Album Review

The first jazz vocal LP ever released on Atlantic Records, Chris Connor's self-titled album is one of her best (among considerable competition). Connor's coarse, throaty tone, sweet phrasing, and unerring rhythm were peaking during the late '50s, and the results are delightful tweaks of the standards "Anything Goes" and "Almost Like Being in Love." With similarly excellent results, Connor also transforms a couple of Sinatra's evergreens: "I Get a Kick Out of You," taken at breakneck pace with a small group including pianist John Lewis, bassist Oscar Pettiford, and drummer Connie Kay; "Where Are You"; and "You Make Me Feel So Young," with a ten-piece featuring tenor Zoot Sims and bassist Milt Hinton. [The sound on Rhino's "Atlantic Original Sound" reissue from 1998 veers from amazingly crisp to only fair.]

Biography

Born: November 08, 1927 in Kansas City, MO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Along with June Christy, Helen O'Connell, and Julie London, Chris Connor epitomized cool jazz singing in the 1950s. Influenced by Anita O'Day, the torchy, smoky singer wasn't one for aggression. Like Chet Baker on the trumpet or Paul Desmond and Lee Konitz on alto sax, she used subtlety and restraint to their maximum advantage. At the University of Missouri, Connor (who had studied clarinet at an early age) sang with a Stan Kentonish big band led by trombonist Bob Brookmeyer before leaving her native...
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