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Various Artists: ‘S Wonderful – Concord Jazz Salutes Ira Gershwin

This hour-plus compilation of 14 Ira Gershwin evergreens previously recorded by Concord’s stable of stars celebrates the rich legacy of the lyricist-brother of composer George. Top tracks are Mel Torme’s “Liza (All the Clouds’ll Roll Away)” fueled by Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass, Susannah McCorkle’s “Fascinating Rhythm” with clarinetist Ken Peplowski and pianist Dave Frishberg, Ernestine Anderson’s “Love Walked In” with and the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, and the sensuous voice of Brazilian pianist Tania Maria on “Embraceable You.” Rosemary Clooney takes triple honors for “Love Is Here to Stay,” “Long Ago (And Far Away)” and an orchestral-enriched “A Foggy Day (In London Town).” Torme and Cleo Laine duet on “Isn’t It A Pity?” with John Dankworth’s aid.

Also featured are Jack Sheldon, Carol Sloane, Karin Allison and Mary Stallings working with acclaimed players like Harry “Sweets” Edison, Scott Hamilton, Warren Vache, Gene Harris, Rickey Woodard, Nat Pierce and Ross Tompkins. The liner notes describe some of the writing circumstances, and list the year and the show for each song. What a great concept; let’s have more using other lyricists.

Originally Published