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Chris Connor

Biography

There were two jazz queens of coffeehouse Cool during the 1950s. While June Christy ruled the West Coast with complex material, Chris Connor was throned in a New York expresso bar. We give the edge to Christy, but there is always room for nobility in our jazz mansion. Besides, if they sound similar it was Christy who handpicked Connor to take her spot with the Stan Kenton band. A master of musical and emotional subtlety, Connor quickly became one of Atlantic Records' biggest stars during the '50s. Working with a constantly shifting cavalcade of musical giants -- Milt Jackson, Herbie Mann, Maynard Ferguson -- her Atlantic albums offer a plethora of riches that are rooted to Connor's "less is more" approach. Like so many popular jazz-based artists, she had a hard time during the tumultuous '60s, but she has come back strong, amassing a large cult following. The bargain priced Warm Cool compilation creams her Atlantic years into one swell, two-CD set.
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