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Debby Boone: Reflections of Rosemary

This project was set in motion when Debby Boone’s mother-in-law, Rosemary Clooney, bestowed all her arrangements on her daughter-in-law. Most of them were done by John Oddo (Clooney’s longtime arranger), whose writing and piano grace this album. They cannot be stressed too much. As pleasant as Boone’s vocalizing is, as sincere as her striving to swing may be, it is Oddo’s controlled comping, plus tasteful statements from tenorist Scott Hamilton and guitarist John Pizzarelli, that make the album such a pleasant surprise.

Of course, Boone’s enviable intonation is her own doing; so is her taste in resuscitating neglected verses. High points: “Blue Skies”; “Mood Indigo,” with a hip-voiced chorale behind Boone; “It Never Entered My Mind”; the intimacy she evokes on “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning”; the rubato-inspired dramatics of “You Are There”; even the all-bluesy minor waltz “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” which can justify Boone’s occasional stray appoggiaturas into country falsetto.

Originally Published