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November 16, 2008

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Ed Leimbacher

i was of an age with Clooney's silly hits, and did not think much of her then. but the series of Great American Songbook albums issued by Concord during her Eighties revival made a believer of me, especially the first half-dozen when her voice was at its late peak, and the arrangements were played by Scott Hamilton, Warren Vache, Ross Tomkins (i think) and other CJ favorites. she was a fine Jazz singer all along, and most of us 'bos just didn't know it.

Marc Davis

I second the nomination of Rosemary Clooney's Great American Songbook records. I have only one, but it's terrific: "Rosemary Clooney Sings the Music of Cole Porter."

I admit, her voice isn't anything special. It's pretty vanilla. But with the wittiness of Porter's lyrics and the beauty of his melodies, do you have to be Billie Holiday? Anyway, the accompaniment is superb straight-ahead jazz and spot-on, with Scott Hamilton, Warren Vache and Cal Tjader, among others.

And really, can any Cole Porter album be bad? (Please don't tell me if Kenny G has recorded one. I don't want to know.)

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  • Marc Myers writes on music and the arts for The Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (Univ. of California Press). Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a Jazz Journalists Association's "Blog of the Year" winner.
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