Jazz vocalist Chris Connor
never had the crossover pop success of many of her artistic equals, largely because that never seems to have been her intention. Everything I Love
is an aptly titled collection that showcases the singer -- well into her seventies, over five decades into her career, and sounding more than fine -- on a set of 12 standards in her most comfortable setting. In front of a small combo led by pianist and arranger David Matthews
offers no surprises in terms of either repertoire ("Sentimental Journey" and "I've Got You Under My Skin" are representative) or delivery, sounding just as cool and delicately shaded as ever. An effortlessly graceful singer with no particular vocal mannerisms beyond a languid, torchy, but not overwrought delivery, Connor
isn't flashy, and her group is similarly restrained. On a casual listen by someone who's not a particular fan of the style, Everything I Love
might sound like not much more than cocktail bar mood music, but those in the know will recognize Connor
's remarkable, understated strengths.