107

Cat Conner: Cat Tales

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Cat Conner: Cat Tales After thirty years as a jazz singer, California-based Cat Conner has recorded her first album, Cat Tales, an endeavor that is long overdue but no less welcome. For those who haven't heard Conner and may be curious as to what she and her compatriots have to offer, here's a brief summary. Lustrous, pleasing voice, crystal-clear articulation: check. Deep-rooted feeling for jazz, ability to swing: check. Perceptive choice of material, respect for a lyric: check. World-class sidemen who always place her interests ahead of their own: check. Splendid sound quality that favors everyone involved: check.

Conner reaches all the way back to 1899 (and slows the tempo considerably) for the usually ebullient opener, "Hello Ma Baby," and follows that with Billy Eckstine's sultry ballad "I Want to Talk About You" before shifting into high gear for the oft-repeated standard "Them There Eyes." Conner returns to ballad mode on Tadd Dameron's "If You Could See Me Now," while Duke Ellington's "In a Mellow Tone" begins as a genial showcase for Conner's radiant voice and Jim Hughart's resonant bass before pianist George Mesterhazy and tenor saxophonist Gene Cipriano make it a charming foursome.

Conner and Mesterhazy are the principals on one of the loveliest ballads ever written, Leonard Bernstein/Betty Comden/Adolph Green's "Some Other Time," from the Broadway musical On the Town, while Cipriano's bass oboe and Conner's shaker provide an appropriately esoteric backdrop on Juan Tizol's seductive "Caravan." For some reason, no one is listed as playing on the album's last two tracks, "Embraceable You" and "I Hear a Rhapsody," but Cipriano (on tenor) and Mesterhazy lend their support on the former, Mesterhazy alone on "Rhapsody."

This is an impressive debut for a singer who should be much better known. If there's a blemish, it could lie in the fact that the session is overly ballad-heavy, with half a dozen numbers residing more or less in that precinct, two others ("Hello Ma Baby," "In a Mellow Tone") on the cusp, and only "Them There Eyes" pressing forward at a more than moderate pace. For those who appreciate tasteful ballads enchantingly sung, that should pose no problem. And there's certainly nothing else here with which to take issue.

Track Listing: Hello Ma Baby; I Want to Talk About You; Them There Eyes; If You Could See Me Now; In a Mellow Tone; Some Other Time; Caravan; Embraceable You; I Hear a Rhapsody.

Personnel: Cat Conner: vocals, shaker; George Mesterhazy: piano (except 7); Gene Cipriano: tenor sax, clarinet, bass oboe (1, 3, 5-7); Jim Hughart: bass (1, 4, 5).

Title: Cat Tales | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Cat Tales Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read We Know Not What We Do CD/LP/Track Review We Know Not What We Do
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Slade Alive! CD/LP/Track Review Slade Alive!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Hope CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017
Read The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "Godspeed" CD/LP/Track Review Godspeed
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Paris
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "The Time Verses" CD/LP/Track Review The Time Verses
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "Sedimental You" CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "What Time Is It?" CD/LP/Track Review What Time Is It?
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: June 10, 2017
Read "A Cry For Peace" CD/LP/Track Review A Cry For Peace
by Geannine Reid
Published: October 24, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!