Pure Pleasure Records (Bethlehem)
180 Gram Vinyl Record
"Connor's cool tone, subtle, emotional delivery and haunting voice were perfect for the music of the 1950s. Highlights of this superior set include 'The Thrill Is Gone,' 'Blame It on My Youth,' and 'I Concentrate on You,' but all 10 numbers are rewarding." — AllMusic.com
During 1953-1955, singer Chris Connor recorded regularly for Bethlehem. This LP has her final recordings for the label (before moving to Atlantic) with such fine sidemen as Herbie Mann (doubling on flute and tenor), pianist Ralph Sharon, guitarist Joe Puma, bassist Milt Hinton, and drummer Osie Johnson. The two-trombone team of J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding (which had recently become very popular) is prominent on four of the 10 selections.
By June 1953, Connor was finding the constant traveling and vocal demands of nightly performances with a big band exhausting. She abruptly left the Kenton band; and, by fall of 1953, she was back in New York. She soon hired Monte Kay to manage her impending solo career, and he found work for her at Birdland. One night after a show, the owner of Bethlehem Records, Gus Wildi, offered her a recording contract on the spot. She signed with the label in 1953 and, in 1954, released dual LPs, Chris Connor Sings Lullabys Of Birdland and Chris Connor Sings Lullabys For Lovers. At age 26, she became a best-selling solo artist for Bethlehem Records; and the label rushed her into the studios to record additional songs. Bethlehem Records released the successful follow-up albums Chris and This Is Chris in 1955. When time came for Connor's contract to expire, she signed for an album deal with Atlantic Records. Connor was the first white female jazz singer to be signed by the label. Ahmet Ertegun and his brother Nesuhi Ertegun's Atlantic label was, at the time, primarily a rhythm and blues label, with artists such as Ruth Brown and Ray Charles.
|Blame It On My Youth|
|It’s All Right With Me|
|Someone To Watch Over Me|
|Trouble Is A Man|
|All This And Heaven Too|
|The Thrill Is Gone|
|I Concentrate On You|
|All Dressed Up With A Broken Heart|
|From This Moment On|