Connee Boswell: Concentratin' On You - Her 51 Finest 1931-1959
Here is the most comprehensive 2CD survey available of one of the great entertainers of the 30s-50s. Connee Boswell (1907-1976) was a truly outstanding vocal talent, becoming a big star despite having to overcome the disability of being confined to a wheelchair through polio. She rose to fame as the most talented part of the close harmony trio The Boswell Sisters (see Shout, Sister, Shout! on Retrospective RTS 4242), but she then carved a highly successful solo career from 1935 onwards. Her casual, swinging style was a strong influence on other singers such as Ella Fitzgerald.
Concentratin’ On You provides the title and opens Retrospective’s winning collection of her 51 finest recordings, from her very first (I’m Gonna Cry) in 1925 to her last (Where Or When?) in 1959. She was one of the earliest white jazz singers, as the 1932 Me Minus You (with a fine Bunny Berigan trumpet solo) demonstrates, but also had the most persuasive touch with more commercial ballads such as Stormy Weather, Deep In A Dream, The Isle Of May or Sand In My Shoes. Connee was one of Bing Crosby’s favourite duet partners and the sequence includes six of their delightful vocal sparrings, including the chart-topping Bob White and An Apple For The Teacher. But every track by Connee Boswell is special.