Frankly I am out of step - so maybe you should not take my opinion on singers too seriously. To explain: I find most - if not all - the so-called singing on TV programs like 'The Voice' execrable. There is no concept of melody and that means no range. So, maybe I am just an old fogey. Connie Evingson can sing but she was new to me. 'Gypsy in my soul' is a favourite song of mine especially in a version by an obscure singer with the Jack Harris band in the 1930s. Connie's is far different as she has slow-paced it into a plaintive ballad. On this album, I also like 'Nature Boy', a song made famous by Nat Cole, His was very good but the song is better by a woman and very beautifully rendered here.
This is a stunning album, which succeeds vocally, instrumentally, and in its choice of repertoire. From the start, it's apparent that the gypsy of the title is the Belgian guitarist Django Reinhardt. The spirit of the Hot Club Of France, and Django's urbane partner Stephane Grappelly, is most apparent in the accompaniments by Pearl Django, and the Clearwater Hot Club, both of which include a violin in the line-up. Those by the Parisota Hot Club substitute a clarinet, a la Hubert Rostaing, and the Gallic flavour is enhanced by the occasional accordion. The title song, to which Connie gives a coloratura introduction, opens and closes with the familiar sound of Minor Swing, and "April in Paris" and "Nuages" deploy French lyrics, the latter written by Susannah McCorkle.
There are half-a-dozen standards here, but other songs are no less noteworthy, not least Sting's "Until", which Connie sings in a delightfully laid-back folksy style, whilst Arthur Schwartz's lovely ballad "You And The Night And The Music" is given a Latin-American beat. Sigmund Romberg's classic "Lover, Come Back To Me" is taken at a fast tempo, with a chugging guitar rhythm, and sounds more like a celebration than a refrain for a lost love. But that's a minor cavil, which is more than outweighed by the treasures on offer, including scat singing that is a treat to listen to (and you won't hear me say that very often!).
Amazon kindly gave me a small reward for making a purchase of some headphones enabling me to download some MP3s as a pretty rare experience for an old-timer. Faced with the whole Amazon catalogue this enabled me to explore a range of music that i would not have otherwise heard. By chance I came across Connie Evingson's album Gypsy in my Soul. It has proved to be a refreshing delight. Connie sings with a true voice, original phrasing and with clear enjoyment as she swings along to superb backing musicians taking me back to a time when Stephane Grapelli and Django Reinhardt were Le Jazz Hot. This album should be played in a make-believe mood, a small club on the Left Bank with the taste of Ricard and the smoke from a hundred Gauloises in the air while sharing a table with an old friend or a new lover. A trip down Memory Lane for me I hope this music will help ignite an interest in the music of that time amongst a new generation. This is not just a simple imitation but an imaginitive recreation of a style that swung joyously 65 years ago and swings back big time on this album.