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Free Spirits [Limited Edition, Original recording remastered]

Chris Connor Audio CD

Price: 13.61 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Biography

Along with June Christy, Helen O'Connell, and Julie London, Chris Connor epitomized cool jazz singing in the 1950s. Influenced by Anita O'Day, the torchy, smoky singer wasn't one for aggression. Like Chet Baker on the trumpet or Paul Desmond and Lee Konitz on alto sax, she used subtlety and restraint to their maximum advantage. At the University of Missouri, Connor (who had studied ... Read more in Amazon's Chris Connor Store

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LTD/REMASTER/24BIT

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CD ALBUM

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Things Come To Those Who Wait 28 Sep 2004
By Jim Andrews - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Forty-three years after its L.P. release Chris Connor's superlative final album for Atlantic finally appears on C.D. Chris is one of the few artists who did not decline in quality or imagination over the years. Her final albums for Atlantic before she inadvisably went to a small, doomed label begun by her manager (but it would figure she'd be loyal like that....this has to be the most unshowbizy jazz singer of all time, the least temperamental and the most matter-of-fact) were every bit as creative, original and impeccable as her first. "Free Spirits" is devoted to compositions by jazz artists with influences ranging from Duke Ellington to Miss Peggy Lee. The accompaniments by the creme de la creme of jazz musicians are tight, tangy and swinging. Chris is a her most sing-outy and improvisational. The album is almost startingly good! And it sounds not 40-plus years old but maybe 40 minutes old. Chris, by the way, is still performing and doing so beautifully. Now, Collectables or SOMEONE. PLEASE release the Japan-only Atlantic C.D. "Misty," which collected both released and unrelesed Chris singles AND the omitted final track of "Ballads of the Sad Cafe." And add to it all the Chris singles that never made an album, most notably "That's My Desire." And Collectables OR SOMEONE, please do a COMPLETE reissue of "Ballads of the Sad Cafe", with the missing final track ("I'm Afraid the Masquerade is Over") and the TWO versions of "Those Foolish Things" originally issued on the mono and stereo versions of the album so once and for all we have the total package. That would really free our spirits.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Free (spirits) at last! Thanks to Collectables! 22 Sep 2004
By Steve Emerine - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I've been waiting since 1961 to replace my well-worn vinyl copy of this wonderful Chris Connor recording on the Atlantic label, and finally Collectables Records has re-issued it on CD. It features tunes by Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn and John Lewis and lyrics by Billie Holiday and Peggy Lee. On top of that, Chris is backed by jazz instrumental legends Phil Woods, Clark Terry, Oliver Nelson, George Duvivier and Joe Newman playing arrangements by a sax guy you probably remember named Al Cohn. The moods range from Ornette Coleman's haunting "Lonely Woman" to the exuberant "I'm Gonna Go Fishin'" by Ellington and Lee. Although it's only a shade over 35 minutes in length, this is a necessary CD for any jazz fan and a must if you're a fan of fine female vocalists. Chris Connor, still performing today, was -- and is -- one of the very best!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool, Jazzy Chris! 6 Aug 2009
By Garby Gable - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Not only is "Free Spirits" one of my favorite albums by Chris Connor, but it is also one of her most upbeat and was one of her final projects with Atlantic. It opens with the Duke Ellington's explosive "Jump For Joy," where Chris' voice is strong, joyful and commanding. On track #2 "Night Bird," the mood changes and becomes more haunting and mysterious with great musical solos done by the musicians, especially Irvin Markowitz on the trumpet. "Milano" is a smooth, easy going tune that demonstrates Chris' ability to create a very relaxed mood, along with the delightful trumpet solo by Clark Terry. Track#4 "Opportunity, Please Knock" is seductive, yet playful, with the extra added touch of Joe Newman on trumpet. This is followed by "Daydream" an Ellington,/LaTouch/Strayhorn collaboration that takes you to that hazy, haunting place with Ben Tucker's bass behind Chris every step of the way.
On "Things Are Swinging," one of my personal favorites, you'd be hard pressed not to tap your feet and snap your fingers because it is just that type of song. Chris sings the lyrics with such crisp, clear elocution making it somewhat hypnotic, and of course with Ronnie Ball's great piano solo, albeit too short. "Kansas City" a Leiber/Stoller collaboration fits right into the pace and groove of the album. "Lonely Woman" is one of the finer ballards on this album with Chris' slight trace of vibrato complemented by the fine musicians: Phil Woods and Oliver Nelson doubling on clarinet, Sol Schlinger doubles on bass clarinet, along with George Duvivier on bass and Ed Shaughnessy on drums. "Im Gonna Go Fishin'" is a Peggy Lee favorite of mine and Chris certainly does the tune justice with her succint, melodic phrasing accompanied by Phil Woods (alto sax), Oliver Nelson (tenor sax), Sol Schlinger (baritone sax), Joe Newman, Clark Terry (trumpets), Ronnie Ball (piano), Ben Tucker (bass) and Dave Bailey (drums). Miss Connor's tribute to Billie Holiday on "God Bless the Child" provides a simpler, less stylized approach, however her ability to use her dynamics clearly carries the mood and hits the mark. The final cut, "Free Spirits," another favorite of mine, has a nice upbeat tempo and is perfect for Chris' voice and for the close of such a wonderful album.
Listening to this Cd is like being transported to the cool jazz clubs of yesteryear. It's unfortunate that the album is only 40 minutes, but what it lacks in length it more than makes up in quality. I strongly recommend this album for all those Chris Conner fans and for those who enjoy listening to cool, jazz vocalists. Be "free spirited" and check it out!
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