Quotes

Cat Conner
Jazz Times

“Conner’s grace and sophistication come from the same school that produced Shirley Horn & Rebecca Parris. She is a master of the slow ballad and that may be the least of her considerable talents as expressed on the present Cat House…Conner’s voice is perfectly balanced throughout, informed by a life of experience and a future of hope and happiness. This is an album about turning corners and coming out on top.” Michael C. Bailey, Allaboutjazz.com

“Cat Conner doesn’t need a gimmick, her pristine voice and impeccable timing are skills that far outshine some of her contemporaries that might be slightly more familiar to the fan of traditional jazz vocals…If you are a little tired of the predictable and are looking to go deep, Cat House is uh…”purrfect!” Brent Black, CriticalJazz.com

“She makes no excuses or apologies for being a broad and knows how to be a thrush in the most classic sense of the style. A solid swinger with the chops..this is just what a real jazz vocal fan wants to hear. A winning date throughout, this is a golden look at how it used to be when things were done right. Well done.” Chris Spector, Midwest Record

“This is a very enjoyable CD of quality jazz singing and skilled playing, and it is a bit different from the offerings of jazz standards on other discs.” Ann Alex, Bebopspokenhere.com

Cat Conner’s voice is romantic and contemporary, dream as well as sexy. The music she has chosen for Cat House is heartfelt, filled with new discoveries as well as revisions of some of your favorite songs. They not only afford the listener with an account of why music matters not only to musicians but to all of us. Overall, it is a powerful offering as to why her identifications as a woman and as a post-bop jazz singer inflect her work. Check it out.”
Paula Edelstein, AXS

“So, hooked I was – first by John Chiodini’s slick guitar on the first few bars, then by Cat Conner’s luxurious vocal, then by her effortless way with the lyric…Refreshingly straight-ahead, and highly recommended.” Doug Boynton, Girlsingers.com

On Cat Tales, the caramel-voiced Conner called upon George Mesterhazy. His dual role as co-producer and pianist—abetted on several tracks by two of L.A.’s finest session players, reedman Gene Cipriano and bassist Jim Hughart—turned out to be one of his final studio gigs, completed not long before his premature demise, at age 49, in April.
…this elegant session with Conner…She is, much like Rebecca Parris, a prima balladeer, as demonstrated across seven of the album’s nine tracks. Christopher Loudon

All About Jazz
Of these four songs, the most revelatory is Conner’s and Mesterhazy’s treatment of “If You Could See Me Now.” Again, the song is slowed to the point where its subatomic compositional mechanics can be nakedly seen. Conner delivers the lament languidly with a relaxed intent, one with equal amounts of regret and gratitude. She exercises all sub-ranges of her sturdy and muscular alto voice, singing with perfect poise and delivery. Conner is a student of the song rather than its melodic interpretation. — C. Michael Bailey

Jazz Scene, Jazz Society of Oregon
Conner is simply a natural. No gimmicks, no show biz, no schmaltz, no frosting. There’s a direct sincerity in the way she tells the stories of these lyrics. Few can attain it, and you know it when you hear it. Conner is the understated real deal. — George Fendel

Los Angeles Jazz Scene
The sparse setting is perfect for Cat for her voice is strong and very attractive, her long tones are appealing, and she knows how to make each note and sound count. She particularly excels on ballads, gives the ancient standard “Hello Ma Baby” a surprisingly sensuous treatment, and swings at every tempo. — Scott Yanow

All About Jazz
Lustrous, pleasing voice, crystal-clear articulation: check. Deep-rooted feeling for jazz, ability to swing: check. Perceptive choice of material, respect for a lyric: check. World-class sidemen who always place her interests ahead of their own: check. Splendid sound quality that favors everyone involved: check…This is an impressive debut for a singer who should be much better known. — Jack Bowers

Jersey Jazz Journal
Each track is wonderfully conceived, with Cipriano and Mesterhazy providing many magic moments. Listen to Conner and Cipriano give a fascinating ride to “Caravan,” with Cipriano on bass oboe and Conner supplying the rhythm with a shaker. Close your eyes and you can see the desert. Welcome to the world of recording Cat Conner! — Joe Lang

O’s Place Jazz Magazine
O’s Notes: Cat Conner sings Cat Tales, a sultry set of romantic ballads backed by minimalist accompaniment. The music has a jazzy feel with ragtime elements especially from George Mesterhazy (p) and Gene Cipriano (sax, cl, oboe). Jim Hughart (b) shines with Cat on “In A Mellow Tone” walking his bass alongside before Gene and George join in. Cat’s voice is rich and pure, a delight on these covers, all studio first takes! She’s been singing for over 30 years and this is her solo recording debut. We welcome another! —D. Oscar Groomes