Jazz Journal International, January 2004
Connie Evingson
" Let It Be Jazz" (Summit Records)

Although she has spent much of her life in her home state, Evingson's four previous albums have brought her many admirers from further afield. This time, she turns to the music of Lennon & McCartney and, my foot-in-a-rut expectations to the contrary, the result is a delightful jazz album with often unexpected results. There are a few of the writers' many hits hereon, but most of the songs are not at all over-familiar, although Blackbird presently appears to be finding favour among jazz singers. As it is, unfamiliar and not, the singer approaches the material with wit and ingenuity. Almost all of the arrangements are by Evingson and Knutson, and a very good job they have made of them. Evingson's voice is expressive and lean, and she swings gracefully. From the perspective of readers of JJI, it is important to stress that her take on all the material not only moves it far away from its pop roots but is also richly varied, replacing their sixties pop leanings with a contemporary jazz feel. For example, Miles Davis would have recognized the approach made to Blackbird, and there are hints of jazz-reggae on Fixing A Hole. The two versions of When I'm 64 are not alternative takes but are different approaches; the first lopes along at a lazily infectious tempo that hints at the tango, while the second ups the tempo and closes the album with flair. Very good sound and full personnel details but not much information about a young singer who deserves to be heard far outside Minnesota - Evingson has been theirs for too long. Warmly recommended. Readers outside the USA might like to know that this label is distributed in the UK by Metronome Distribution Ltd., Singleton Court, Wonastow Road, Monmouth NP25 5JA.


by Bruce Crowther, Jazz Journal International

© 2003-2018 Connie Evingson