Swing 2 Bop
Connie Evingson
"Gypsy In My Soul"
"Let It Be... Jazz"

On the first of these two CDs, Connie Evingson turns to the music of Lennon & McCartney with delightful and often unexpected results. Few of the thirteen songs hereon are overly familiar and on these, as on the handful of Beatles' hits that are included, she approaches the material with wit and ingenuity. Connie's voice is expressive and lean, and she swings gracefully. Although she has spent much of her life in her home state, Connie's previous four studio albums have brought her many admirers from further afield. The songbook upon which this 2003 album is based is one usually ignored by jazz singers and Connie shows that this neglect is unjustified. The second set, recorded in 2004, finds Connie in very different musical territory. Inspired by Django Reinhardt, she teams up with three different Django-style bands, the Clearwater Hot Club, the Parisota Hot Club and Pearl Django. The music is vibrant and colourful and Connie and the instrumentalists revel in the free, open swing that admirably reflects the gypsy legend. Mostly the songs are standards, along with a couple of Reinhardt's own compositions, 'Nuages' and 'Anouman' ('Django's Premonition'), the latter having a new lyric by Connie herself. Either one of these CDs will demonstrate to new listeners what jazz fans in Minnesota have long known - that Connie Evingson is a very accomplished jazz singer. If you choose only one, make it Gypsy In My Soul - although that might well be personal prejudice speaking because the atmosphere Connie so ably captures, that of the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, has long been high on my list of favourite jazz moods.


by Bruce Crowther, Swing 2 Bop

© 2003-2018 Connie Evingson