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Dedicated to Nelson

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Album Review

During 1956-1957, the Rosemary Clooney television show featured the singer with arrangements provided by Nelson Riddle. Nearly four decades later, pianist/arranger John Oddo and Clooney listened to many hours of audio tapes from the show and picked 16 of Riddle's charts to revive. Since the music was no longer available on paper, it had to be transcribed off of the tapes and in many cases extended beyond the one or two original choruses; writers Eddie Karam and David Berger also assisted on the project. A 17-piece big band was utilized plus (on six of the 16 tunes) seven strings and a harp. Although liner note writer Gary Giddins raves about the music and claims that this project was unprecedented, bands reviving 1920s music transcribe off of records all of the time. Despite some short solos by trumpeter Warren Luening, Tommy Newsom on tenor, altoist Gary Foster. and trombonist Chauncey Welsh, the presence of a swinging rhythm section and the high-quality repertoire, most of the music (which sticks to the melodies) is closer to middle of the road pop than to jazz. Clooney sings in near-peak form throughout this labor of love, and the music is pleasing but the results are rather predictable.


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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