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Album Review

During her very rich Concord years, which resulted in a renaissance for the veteran singer, Rosemary Clooney was generally featured singing swing standards with a jazz rhythm section, tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton, and (in the early days) cornetist Warren Vaché. But by the early '90s, Clooney was being heard more often than not in orchestral settings. This CD celebrates her first 50 years in show business. Although she does not re-create her hits, the 16 songs that Clooney chose to sing on this interesting set signify different periods of her life. "Danny Boy" was a melody she sang as a child; "The Coffee Song" (which she originally performed with her late sister Betty Clooney) has her niece Cathi Campo joining in a duet; "I'm Confessin' (That I Love You)" was a song that her former employer Tony Pastor used to perform nightly; there are tributes to Duke Ellington and Nelson Riddle, etc. Some of the numbers find Clooney accompanied by a string orchestra; there is a big band on a few tunes; and short solos along the way are taken by altoist Gary Foster, trumpeter Warren Luening, and pianist John Oddo (her musical director). Rosemary Clooney's voice is still in fine form on this outing, and there are enough strong sections (along with plenty of nostalgic moments) to make the CD easily recommended to Clooney fans.


Born: May 23, 1928 in Maysville, KY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Before the rock & roll revolution, Rosemary Clooney was one of the most popular female singers in America, rising to superstardom during the golden age of adult pop. Like many of her peers in the so-called "girl singer" movement -- Doris Day, Kay Starr, Peggy Lee, Patti Page, et al. -- Clooney's style was grounded in jazz, particularly big-band swing. She wasn't an improviser or a technical virtuoso, and lacked the training to stand on an equal footing with the greatest true jazz singers. However,...
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Demi-Centennial, Rosemary Clooney
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