Jazz Vocals

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Loving Clooney

04 FEB 08 ANNE FARNSWORTH

Song stylist Rosemary Clooney knew her way around a lyric. Decades of experience both on and off the stage gave her a natural sense of story and a keen understanding of the highs and lows of the human condition. Now the most romantic of the songs recorded during her Concord Jazz years are collected in Rosemary Clooney Sings For Lovers.

Clooney's career, which took off in the '40s singing with her sister for bandleader Tony Pastor, came to a standstill in the late-'60s as she struggled with emotional issues and the strain of maintaining an international career while raising five children in the midst of a troubled marriage. She rebounded in the '70s with a successful Copenhagen appearance followed by a reunion tour with Bing Crosby, her White Christmas co-star. Soon after, she signed with Concord, going on to record many successful albums.

Supported on this CD by a marquee band including Warren Vache, Scott Hamilton, Jake Hanna, Cal Tjader and Jack Sheldon, Clooney sings with a comfortably swinging feel, calmly holding the center without being overpowered. Although each cut is a gem of understated perfection, the high point is a vocal duet with Sheldon, "People Will Say We're In Love."

Sheldon, the clown prince of the contemporary jazz scene, works his ad-libs and friendly-lion growl of a voice playfully around Clooney's polished delivery. The result is lighthearted and good-natured -- two battle-hardened survivors of love who've learned not to take it, or themselves, too seriously. Rosemary Clooney Sings For Lovers arrives in stores on Feb. 5.