There are surprises galore and much to be enjoyed in Sweet Happy Life, from fine Minneapolis-based vocalist, Connie Evingson. Perhaps the most immediate of those discoveries, even before a listen, is the canon of work from Grammy and Academy Award-winning lyricist, Norman Gimbel, to whose oeuvre this CD is a tribute.With Sweet Happy Life Evingson and her mates superbly cover some of the most well-known selections in popular music. The fascinating thing is that Gimbel, while not as immediately recognizable as the Johnny Mercers of the music world, has written the verbiage to all of these and other ...read more
Norman Gimbel's name may not register with a lot of educated jazz fans, yet he's linked to some of the most important songs and artists in the music. Gimbel wrote the lyrics attached to harmonica ace Toots Thielemans' best known number, Bluesette," captured Michel Legrand's musical moods in words on I Will Wait For You" and Watch What Happens," and opened up English-language ears to the world of bossa nova. His lyrics for many of Antonio Carlos Jobim's songs are known the world over, yet his name is rarely mentioned when these works are discussed. Minneapolis-based vocalist Connie Evingson is ...read more
After the release of the top-drawer Sweet Happy Life (Minnehhaha Music, 2012), it was worth pursuing the All About Jazz review archives to see if there were any recent Connie Evingson releases we neglected to consider. Imagine our luck that a significant recording has been overlooked, one that appeals directly to Evingson's Scandinavian heritage: 2006's Stockholm Sweetnin'. Recorded with The Hot Club of Sweden, Evingson settles into an uncommon comfort level that allows her to relax and sing from a perfectly natural vantage point. The style of Hot Club jazz is not unlike the gypsy" motif Evingson ...read more
Singer Connie Evingson is a master of thematic programming. Her last several recordings have all been predicated on specific themes that showed great consideration in their concepts. Recordings released since the new millennium include: Little Did I Dream: Songs by Dave Frishberg (Minnehaha Music, 2008); Stockholm Sweetnin' (Minnehaha Music, 2006); Gypsy in my Soul (Minnehaha Music, 2005); The Secret of Christmas (Minnehaha Music, 2003); and Let It Be Jazz: Connie Evingson Sings the Beatles (Summit Records, 2003). All are uniformly fine and were well received. The unifying subject of Sweet Happy Life is Grammy and Academy Award-winning ...read more
The late Tip O'Neill once said, .."All politics is local." This certainly can be said for jazz also. All of America's metropolitan areas have a jazz contingency. Chicago has Kurt Elling, Patricia Barber, and Von Freeman; Washington DC has Buck Hill; and New York has who knows how many? The Twin Cities, Minneapolis-St. Paul, also has noted jazz talent in Dave Frishberg and vocalist Connie Evingson.
Pianist/vocalist Frishberg, a native of St. Paul, has a long jazz résumé that includes School House Rock (Rhino, 1996), as well as having written numerous songs recorded by Blossom Dearie, ...read more
2005 should be declared the Year of the Female Jazz Vocalist. In this first quarter we have seen new releases from Cheryl Bentyne, Kate McGarry, Patti Wicks, and Dena DeRose. All are notable artists whose new recordings are equally notable. Add to this Connie Evingson's beautifully provocative Gypsy in My Soul, and one can only be encouraged about the state of art in jazz vocals.
Based in the Twin Cities, Evingson chooses much more exotic climes for the theme of her new recording, prewar Paris, when the European jazz world was ruled by a Parisian fiddle player and ...read more
Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli gave us a timeless chapter in jazz history that emphasized acoustic music with cultural influences from various parts of the world. To that lovely aroma Connie Evingson adds her mellifluous voice and intimate way with a melody. She interprets songs that carry a nostalgic memory, and she carves each one with a distinctive flair. Seamless phrasing, smoky resonance and a genuine caring give her presentation a natural quality.
Gypsy in My Soul" swings lightly with a comfortable texture, as The Parisota Hot Club lends powerful support. The band complements Evingson's convincing lyric interpretation ...read more