Chris Connor – This Is Chris – Bethlehem (1955)/ PurePleasure mono BCP20 audiophile vinyl ****:
(Chris Connor – vocals; J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding – trombone; Herbie Mann – flute; Joe Puma – guitar; Ralph Sharon – piano; Milt Hinton – bass; Osie Johnson – drums)
This recording may be from 1955, but they sure knew how to record chocolate-like vocals in those days—so sweet and rich. I admit I didn’t discover Connor till about a year or so ago and at the time the age old question came up: “Where have you been all my life?” Sultry and cool…Connor is reminiscent of June Christy but a bit warmer and able to work in a lower register.
My co-worker was just relating a story the other day about picking up a record, putting it on and listening to it all the way through and then starting it right over again. Some music is just that good that you want to listen to it over and over. That’s how I felt about this disc. From the first band the listener is captivated and caught in Chris’ web. The band is great and recording quality is indicative of the time. Mono enthusiasts will not mind, although I’d prefer a little more separation between the players. “Someone To Watch Over Me” is another favorite on this disc—played faster than I’m accustomed—and gives quite a different take on the tune.
Really, this album is just one great song after another and I can’t think of a reason not to recommend it highly!
Side 1: Blame It on My Youth; It’s All Right With Me; Someone To Watch Over Me; Trouble Is A Man; All This And Heaven Too
Side 2: The Thrill Is Gone; I Concentrate On You; All Dressed Up with A Broken Heart; From This Moment On; Ridin’ High