Rosemary Clooney: 70 – A Seventieth Birthday Celebration

Rosemary Clooney carries proudly the mantle of the American popular song tradition. Her approach is direct, an appeal more to sentiment than to intellect, working as much with sincerity as with style. Her interpretations tend toward the wistful, and their appeal is undeniable. In this sampler, drawn from her work for Concord over the past 20 years, her work is given all the accoutrements, including appearances with the Woody Herman band and the likes of Ed Bickert, Warren Vache, Scott Hamilton, John Pizzarelli, and even Keith Carradine, k.d. lang, and Linda Ronstadt. The arrangements are not always as rich as one might hope, but this exercise is about songs, and the singer makes them work. Only occasionally cloying, this is wonderful work in a vein we are perhaps more sensitive to in light of the recent loss of the master, Frank Sinatra.