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Rosemary Clooney | Jazz SingerRosemary Clooney | Jazz Singer
an emily blunt music review

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Bluntly speaking? This magnificent dame had it going on; still does and always will. Rosemary Clooney, auntie to moviestar George, was herself, an American original. Her vocals were well beyond the bubblegum pop of her peers, and her timing legendary in the field of Jazz. Her remarkable voice and intuition for a lyric's backbone could sway a rumba, burst a ballad's heart wide-open, make you smile with giddy abandonment, or subtly bring you to tears with her soulful bluesy dollops while remaining true to the song's own core. An amazing vocalist.

Rose liked to sing - and sing she did. This collection from Legacy Recordings is a spectacular peek into just how range-filled her repertoire was. It's the "older" stuff. For those in the know, her pre-"Come On-A My House," a song she hated - but which also made her a household name (the song was penned oddly by playwright William Saroyan…). Here, though are the songs that audibly hint to why Clooney left, broke free from her Pastor days, and the semi-boxed Clooney Sisters style, to spread her vocal wings and fly; Her talent simply demanded it.

From the first track, "It Don't Mean a Thing," even if you purchased the works curious, if unknowing, about the woman with the golden chords, you will be enchanted with this version of the Ellington signature tune. One of my favorite songs - in the world - is track 3, "How About You." This version is simply all Clooney. She owns the whole song list - even if you think you've heard the following true-Jazz fan ditties done on side two by Dino, Darin or Sinatra, kid you aint heard nuthin' yet.Speaking of the Big S, I personally never understood track 8, "The Lady is a Tramp." Perhaps it's a generational thing. The lyrics dumbfound me. However, here, as sung by Rose, in her the simplistic straightforward ease of delivery it almost makes the song logical. Well, sing-a-longable in a fan-of-Pretty-Woman-intelligence-breach-of-unified-unspoken-sisterhood sing-a-longable at least. There's a music geek feast found in track 11, "It's Bad For Me." Your ears will feast like a human tick as they recognize the list-o-names involved here, and througout the collection (nirvana). And this song in particular, is one of those rare recordings that shows up in a collection like this that makes you wonder where have all the real enthused informed passionate for-more-than-a-dollar music maestros, lyricists and singers gone to? Dylan firmly aside - natch. The Benny Goodmans, Cole Porters, Buddy Coles, Percy Faiths and Nelson Riddles? And will we meet another like Rose? Probably not.

But, we've got these surfacing recordings that - every once in a while - aren't just scratchy embarrassing pre-fame cuts oozed to fill studio pockets; this one's an actual loving ode. The beauty of this particular collection is precisely that it's not "the hits." It's for folks who truly want to hear this singular artist, and that artist's unique ability to move you through her notes, and inflections of those notes. Enjoy Buy it

Track List:

1. It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
2. I'll Be Around
3. How About You
4. Blues In The Night
5. Memories Of You
6. I'm Checkin' Out, Goombye
7. What Is There To Say
8. The Lady Is A Tramp
9. Bad News
10. Hey Baby
11. It's Bad For Me
12. A Touch Of The Blues
13. Together
14. Learnin' The Blues
15. Doncha Go 'Way Mad
16. Sophisticated Lady
17. Come Rain Or Come Shine
18. Goodbye

 


 

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