Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Sings Lullabys of Birdland
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
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This is some smoky, sizzlin' FIRE, fa'sho!
Nathan | Charlotte, N.C. United States | 04/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was perusin' through my local Border's Books an' Music, not strayin' far from the jazz section, an' I came across this. They had it on display so that you could listen to snippets of it on headphones, an' I gave it a spin. I was hooked instantly. The first number that grabbed me was her version'a 'Try a Little Tenderness', one'a the best songs ever, but then I moved on to 'Spring is Here' an' 'Why Shouldn't I?', then 'Ask Me' an' 'Cottage for Sale' an' the KILLER 'Stella by Starlight'. Oh, an' I can't forget 'Goodbye', prob'ly the best cut on this whole album. I had never heard a vocal version'a this song, an' now I don't wanna hear any other. This woman has got some pipes on her an' I fell in love right there in the store. I'm tellin' y'all, standards have rarely sounded so good. Now I was only plannin' on buyin' one CD that day, as it was the end'a the month an' I only hadda lump sum'a cash that needed to be used for bills. But in my other hand I was firmly grippin' Johnny Hartman's 'Songs from the Heart' an' I wasn't about to let it go. After some middlin' in thought, I decided to jus' buy 'em both. It made it so I couldn't scrape by on my bills an' my power got cut off for a day, but y'know what? It was worth it. I hadda portable CD player an' I ran the batteries down listenin' to Chris Connor's jazzy, sultry croon while I sat in my darkened apartment."
Mary Whipple | 08/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First, let's get some history straight. This is not Chris' first album for Bethlehem, which also was titled "Lullabys (spelled wrong) of Birdland." That was a 10-incher with a black-and-white cover and a spoken introduction. It was followed by another 10-incher, "Lullabies for Lovers" and then the 12-inch "Chris." This album followed and it mixes tracks from the first two 10-inchers with some previously unreleased big band sessions. The cover on the C.D. issue is not the same as the cover on the original L.P.--it's an alternate shot. All that said, this is a splendid collection of early Chris, widely varied in material, moods, orchestrations and accompaniments and recording techniques. When she moved to Atlantic the aural difference was immediate--Atlantic was adept at catching the gradations of Chris' voice in a way Bethlehem never was. On Bethlehem she always sounded muted, on Atlantic she emerged crisp though still misty. This collection has stood the test of time and is well worth getting."
Connor's interpretations still feel "modern."
Mary Whipple | New England | 07/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Chris Connor is a consummate actress who happens to sing, and her musicianship and vocal range give new meanings to some familiar tunes, which include selections by George Shearing, Rodgers and Hart, the Gershwins, and Gordon Jenkins. Though she sang with big bands early in her career, she eventually chose to leave them in order to sing in the more intimate confines of the jazz clubs. Her musical flexibility and her unique, personal interpretations found their home there, with much less backup. As a result, this collection is a refreshing change from the tried and true, showcasing interpretations with unusual chromatic jumps, quick changes of key, movements from high to very low register, and even a song in which she and her accompanists simultaneously work the song in different tempos. She never misses a note or a beat.Swing is Connor's forte, but she avoids pyrotechnics and gives her songs new meaning by slowing down the pace and simplifying such standards as "Lullaby of Birdland," "What is There to Say," and the sweetly whispery "Try a Little Tenderness," all with Ellis Larkins's sensitive and simple piano accompaniments. "Spring is Here," sung with bluesy confidence, is one of the best songs on the album, and she hits every one of the difficult, chromatic low notes, spot-on. In "Why Shouldn't I," her acting, her sense of timing, and her ability to give her own interpretation without having a strong melodic line from the accompanying Ellis Larkin Trio are notable. "Ask Me," "Blue Silhouette," and the up-tempo "Chiquita from Chi-Wah-Wah" are sung with Sy Oliver's big band. The final six songs, with the Vinnie Burke Quartet, include the wonderful "Stella by Starlight" and a very dramatic and ineffably sad version of Gordon Jenkins's "Goodbye." Connor is a musician, rather than "just" a singer, and the musicians who accompany her never "step on" her notes or intrude. She returns the compliment, allowing each of her accompanists to share the spotlight and the mood of the songs. One of the first singers to leave a successful Big Band career to create her own sound in the jazz clubs, Connor has created her own legend as a musician, her talents beautifully highlighted on this 1986 CD. Mary Whipple"