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 and her lively scat chorus.
Singing French and English lyrics to "Nuages," Evingson unleashes a century of passion. Sam Miltich and The Clearwater Hot Club deliver a heartfelt ambience to carry her message in no uncertain terms.
She's equally at home with Sting's "Until," a soulful waltz that resembles Jim Croce's "Time in a Bottle." It's another example of the timeless nature of Evingson's album. With Pearl Django providing graceful acoustic charm and guest vibraphonist Susan Pascal weaving her melodies among the singer's pert lines, the song transforms into an exotic adventure. Guitarist Neil Anderson adds a lovely reflection of Django Reinhardt's manner, as Sting's music meets Django.
"Caravan" swings madly with a driving spirit and "Night and Day" swings with a lighter disposition, while "April in Paris" takes the listener on a vacation to France, with lyrics in French and English. Both "Nature Boy" and "The Lonely One" allow Evingson to capture every ounce of emotion that comes with the territory. She portrays a Gypsy's freedom in her interpretations, while giving her audience a highly recommended musical program. Audio examples of Evingson's performances may be found at her web site.
Track Listing: Nature Boy; I'm Confession'; Gypsy in My Soul; Nuages; Lover Come Back to Me; Lullaby of the Leaves; Until; April in Paris; Caravan; The Lonely One; Night and Day; You and the Night and the Music; Django's Premonition (Anouman); I Cover the Waterfront; S'Wonderful/Dizzy Atmosphere.
Personnel: Connie Evingson- vocals; Don Chouinard, Patrick Harrison- accordion; Darryl Boudreaux- percussion; Susan Pascal- vibraphone; Greg Williamson- drums; Clearwater Hot Club: Sam Miltich- guitar; Mark Kreitzer- guitar, mandolin; Matthew Miltich- bass; Raphael Fraisse- violin; Parisota Hot Club: Robb Henry, Bob Ekstrand- guitar; Keith Boyles- bass; Tony Baluff- clarinet; Pearl Django: Neil Anderson, Greg Ruby- guitar; Rick Leppanen- bass; Michael Gray- violin.
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.