10

Cat Conner: Cat House

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Cat Conner: Cat House
West Coast Vocalist Cat Conner's debut recording, Cat Tales (Rhombus Records, 2012) was a critical highlight vocal recording of the year. Conner's grace and sophistication come from the same school that produced Shirley Horn, Rebecca Parris and Patti Wicks. She is a master of the slow ballad and that may be the least of her considerable talents as expressed on the present Cat House.

Conner's song choice for Cat House was measured and forward thinking. It reflects the singer's deep knowledge of popular vocal music, as well as, infusing the essence of the unavoidable life experiences that shape us into the canon of the Great American Songbook. On than note, it was once opined that "standards" were standard because of their timeless application in life. One must grow into them to understand, internalize and then recreate them as lessons and witnesses. Conner's true oeuvre is that she has done exactly this to a measure of perfection met by few other singers.

Conner touts Cat House as a deeply emotional and personal project, where she bends thirteen relatively underperformed pieces to her vocal and intentional will, making them tell her story, thereby resolving the good with the bad in a life well lived. She deftly dispatches Cole Porter's "Everything I Love" with the addition of her own lyrics ("Everything I Desire") over John Chiodini's plush and expressive guitar. She runs with Chiodini's arrangement of Sonny Burke's "Sans Souci," almost purring the Peggy Lee lyrics around Gene Cipriano's bass oboe, which sounds oddly perfect in the mix.

Pianist Tom Ranier sets into motion Chiodini's provocative Latin arrangement of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" with lyrics penned by friends Meredith d'Ambrosio and Ron Hurston. The song has an overall love-humid feel seasoned with just the right sensual tension. Ranier plays with a carefully tethered slow burn that propels the song languidly and with intent. Conner's voice is perfectly balanced throughout, informed by a life of experience and a future of hope and happiness. This is an album about turning corners and coming out on top.

Track Listing

Everything I Love/Everything I Desire; Handsome Man (Pretty Girl); Sans Souci; Giant Steps; Throw Me Away; Remind Me; Baltimore Oriole; Heart’s Desire; Wishing on the Moon; You’re Driving Me Crazy; Come on Strong; What a Little Moonlight Can Do; People Say.

Personnel

Cat Conner: vocals, shaker; John Chiodini: guitar; Gene Cipriano: clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, bass oboe; Tom Rainer: piano; Chuck Berghofer: bass; Joe LaBarbera: drums; Ron Stout: trumpet; Dick Nash: trombone; Stephanie O’Keef: French horn; Bob Carr: bassoon, bass clarinet, alto flute.

Album information

Title: Cat House | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Cat Tales Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read How Can We Wake?
How Can We Wake?
Josephine Davies
Read Blue Has A Range
Blue Has A Range
Steve Cardenas
Read Then Now
Then Now
Rob Brown - Matthew Shipp
Read Human Dust Suite
Human Dust Suite
Miki Yamanaka
Read You're It!
You're It!
The Mike Melito/Dino Losito Quartet
Read TEST and Roy Campbell
TEST and Roy Campbell
TEST and Roy Campbell
Read 4K
4K
Modasaurus

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.