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Vocal Jazz - Released May 17, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Vocal Jazz - Released April 19, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Most of this highly recommended set is taken from a series of 1957 sessions in which singer Chris Connor exclusively interprets songs of George Gershwin. To fill out the CDs, additional Gershwin cuts from other, otherwise unrelated dates by the vocalist have been added. Connor's cool delivery gives many of the largely familiar songs new life. She is assisted by such fine musicians as trumpeter Joe Newman, tenorman Al Cohn, flutist Herbie Mann, vibraphonist Milt Jackson and pianist Ralph Sharon, who add tasteful and concise solos. Many of the selections were quite rare before this well-conceived and appealing reissue was put together. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1991 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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Vocal Jazz - Released September 30, 2014 | Bethlehem Records

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Vocal Jazz - Released August 12, 1994 | Rhino Atlantic

Two of singer Chris Connor's finest Atlantic albums are reissued in full on this single CD. The laid-back yet coolly emotional jazz singer is heard backed by top-notch rhythm sections (with either Ralph Sharon or Stan Free being the pianist/arranger) and occasional horns (trumpeter Joe Wilder, flutist Sam Most, tenors Al Cohn and Lucky Thompson, flutist Bobby Jaspar and Al Epstein on English horn and bass clarinet) adding some short solos. Connor (then around 30) was in her prime, and her renditions of such songs as "Poor Little Rich Girl," "Lonely Town," "I'm Shooting High," "Moonlight in Vermont," and even "Johnny One Note" are memorable and sometimes haunting. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 21, 2008 | Warner Jazz

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Jazz - Released May 17, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

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.] ~ John Bush
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Vocal Jazz - Released May 17, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Recorded at the Village Vanguard with a great quartet (including guest Kenny Burrell on guitar), Chris in Person finds vocal heavyweight Chris Connor showing an even better sense of chops and swing as on her studio dates. She gets off to a great start with the apt "Strike up the Band," torches her way through a few of her standards ("Lover Come Back to Me," "Angel Eyes," "'Round Midnight"), and shows she can swing in a soul groove with an ebullient cover of Ray Charles' "Hallelujah I Love Him So." Add in a pair of songs, "Poor Little Rich Girl" and "All About Ronnie," known best (if at all) as Chris Connor songs, and fans of the best cool singer of the '50s get a rich, dynamic live set showing Connor lighting up a crowd. ~ John Bush
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Jazz - Released May 17, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Chris Connor was in her musical prime during the 1950s, but this long-out-of-print LP was a misfire. Essentially a middle-of-the-road pop date, Connor is backed by a string orchestra with voices arranged by Ray Ellis. The jazz content is quite low, even on "My Ideal" and "Speak Low"; only "They All Laughed" swings much. Most of the other numbers were current pop tunes that have been mostly forgotten in the decades since. All of the dozen songs are under three minutes long, and Connor never really gets away from the generally weak melodies. A rather forgettable effort, weighed down by Ellis' dull arrangements and a distracting vocal group. In 2001, I Miss You So was reissued on CD as part of the two-fer I Miss You So/Witchcraft. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released May 17, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

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Jazz - Released February 10, 2017 | Blue Moon

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Jazz - Released May 17, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Chris Connor's smoky voice made her a natural fit for torch songs, but her flair for improvisation expanded her considerable talents to include upbeat material as well. Free Spirits, an excellent small-group date arranged for her by Al Cohn, features Connor in a range of settings; remember, free spirits don't necessarily mean high spirits. The choices for material also range far and wide. A trio of Ellington evergreens anchor the set, but she also includes material from Peggy Lee, Oscar Brown, Jr., Leiber & Stoller's "Kansas City," and Billie Holiday's nearly untouchable "God Bless the Child." It helps that she gets expressive accompaniment from an all-star lineup -- alto Phil Woods, tenor Oliver Nelson, and a pair of all-time trumpeters (Clark Terry and Joe Newman). Despite the title, the only concept at work here is her ability to captivate a listening audience with a wide-ranging set. ~ John Bush
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Jazz - Released April 28, 2017 | Rhino

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Jazz - Released May 17, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

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Vocal Jazz - Released March 4, 2014 | Bethlehem Records

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Jazz - Released May 17, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

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Vocal Jazz - Released May 17, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released January 26, 2013 | Jazz All Stars

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Jazz - Released June 14, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Contemporary singers like Diana Krall have the sleek cocktail-diva act down pat: one part slinky dress; one part slow, sexy songs; and one part deep, smoky voice. Krall, though, learned from a number of women, like Chris Connor, who wrote the book on torch singing back in the '50s. Recorded in 1961, A Portrait of Chris finds the singer accompanied by a lively band and strings as she interprets a dozen standards. Conner's calling card is her lovely, deep voice. It reaches down and delivers ballads like "Here's That Rainy Day" and "All Too Soon" in rich, full colors. Like Julie London, Conner's cool and calm approach always gives the impression that it's three a.m. and only a handful of people remain in the bar. She infuses "Sweet William" and "If I Should Lose You" with sad longing, leaving one to imagine her the loneliest person on the planet. She turns up the heat on "Day in, Day Out" and "I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues," and delivers a spunky version of "Harlequin." James Ritz' liner notes serve as a good introduction to Connor and also place her in historical prospective. With the release of A Portrait of Chris, jazz fans can supplement their collections with the lovely singing of an original from the golden age of jazz divas. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
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Vocal Jazz - Released October 2, 2006 | Parlophone UK