Music: Warm Cool: The Atlantic Years

Chris Connor

Along with the Modern Jazz Quartet and Charles Mingus, vocalist Connor was one of the first artists signed to Atlantic Records' fledgling jazz division in 1955. This compilation, drawn from her 12 albums for the label--most long unavailable--is proof she could hold her own in such rarefied company. Her virtues: a voice nearly as pure and clear as Ella Fitzgerald's, yet spiked at times with a smoky, un-Ella-like sensuality; and a deeply personal, even abstract sense of phrasing. How can you not like a singer who's brassy enough to belt Summertime as hard as if it were Hit the Road Jack...

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