2 LPs on 1 CD: A JAZZ DATE WITH CHRIS CONNOR (1956)/CHRIS CRAFT (1958).
A JAZZ DATE WITH CHRIS CONNOR:
Personnel: Chris Connor (vocals); Al Cohn, Lucky Thompson (tenor saxophone); Joe Wilder (trumpet); Sam Most (flute); Eddie Costa (vibraphone); Ralph Sharon (piano); Joe Puma (guitar); Oscar Pettiford (bass); Osie Johnson (drums); Chano Pozo (bongos); Mongo Santamaria (congas).
Recorded in New York, New York from November to December 1956. Originally released as Atlantic (1286).
Personnel: Chris Connor (vocals); Bobby Jaspar (flute); Al Epstein (English horn, bass clarinet); Stan Free (piano); Mundell Lowe (guitar); George Duvuvier, Percy Heath (bass); Ed Shaughnessy (drums).
Recorded in New York, New York from March to May 1958. Originally released as Atlantic (1290). Includes liner notes by Howard Cook.
Personnel: Chris Connor (vocals); Joe Puma, Mundell Lowe (guitar); Sam Most, Bobby Jaspar (flute); Al Epstein (bass clarinet, English horn); Al Cohn, Lucky Thompson (tenor saxophone); Joe Wilder (trumpet); Ralph Sharon, Stan Free (piano); Eddie Costa (vibraphone); Osie Johnson, Ed Shaughnessy (drums); Mongo Santamaria (congas); Chano Pozo ( Luciano "Chano" Pozo Gonzales) (bongos).
Audio Remasterer: Gene Paul.
Liner Note Author: Howard Cook.
Recording information: 11/16/1956-06/23/1958.
Photographer: Lee Friedlander.
Arrangers: Ralph Sharon; Stan Free.
This reissue makes available two Chris Connor albums, A JAZZ DATE WITH CHRIS CONNOR and CHRIS CRAFT. Both date from her Atlantic Records prime, circa 1958. As produced by Nesuhi Ertegun, these are pure jazz sessions, spruced up a bit by Eddie Costa's vibes on A JAZZ DATE and enlivened by the fine guitarist Mundell Lowe on CRAFT. Connor is an airy yet completely unmannered singer. Her dry timbre is the equivalent of tenorman Al Cohn's vibratoless abstract sound. (Cohn himself is among the participants on the first album.)
Both sessions give full reign to Connor's penchant for material just off the beaten track. While not exactly esoteric, such songs as Artie Shaw's exotic "Moon Ray" and Leonard Bernstein's "Lonely Town" are just unfamiliar enough to suggest a journey to some undiscovered place. Even when a melody is better known ("Moonlight In Vermont," "Lover Man"), Connor's steady refusal to pander to sentimentality allow one to listen with fresh ears.