Last of the Vo-Cool School: Chris Connor, 1927-2009


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There's a report today on the Yahoo Songbirds listserv that singer Chris Connor, , passed away Saturday at the age of 81.

Connor was one of the last living singers from the big-band era, and the last of the original, so-called “vo-cool school” of vocalists that included Anita O’Day, Mel Torme, and June Christy–singers noted for their generally vibrato-less tones, understated phrasing, and now-it’s-languid, now-it’s-loud use of dynamics.

However you classify her, though, Connor was a joy to listen to, and she ended up with a remarkably long run of good recordings that stretch across five decades of jazz history. Though vocal jazz fans will grieve over her departure, she leaves behind an accomplished musical legacy as one of the finest interpreters of American popular song to come out of the post-World War II years.

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