How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Vocalist Chris Connor first achieved national prominence during a ten-month stint with band leader Stan Kenton in 1952. Between 1956 and 1963, Connor recorded 12 fabulous albums for Atlantic Records and this 40-track, 2-CD set, provides a comprehensive overview of her output with the label. The repertoire features some of the best tunes from the classic American songbook and each showcases Connor's cool, limpid tone and vibratoless delivery. She is accompanied by some of the greatest names in jazz. Al Cohn (tenor), Maynard Ferguson (trumpet), Phil Woods (alto), Clark Terry (trumpet), and Kenny Burrell (guitar) are just some of the giants who appear throughout. The instrumental settings range from conductor Ralph Burns's large string orchestra, to the quiet intimacy of a standard jazz trio. This attractively packaged set includes a finely detailed booklet, packed with useful information on Connor's career and each track of this compilation. An essential purchase for fans of the "cool school." (*****)