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100+ Vocal Classics

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Album Review

Chris Connor, even as she got older, mostly retained her strong voice and cool style. This date finds her assisted by either Michael Abene or Richard Rodney Bennett on piano, bassist Rufus Reid, drummer Akira Tana, and the very welcome team of altoist Paquito D'Rivera and trumpeter Claudio Roditi. D'Rivera and Roditi boost the jazz content of the set while being sympathetic to Connor's singing. The emphasis is on love songs, and Connor, while feeling free to swing the tunes and improvise with subtlety, often sticks close to the lyrics and the melodies. Highlights include "Let's Face the Music and Dance," "In Love in Vain," "Blame It on My Youth," and "Brazil."


Born: 08 November 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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100+ Vocal Classics, Chris Connor
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