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Rosemary Clooney: Brazil

Jim Santella By

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Like her songbook albums representing Harold Arlen, Jimmy Van Heusen, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein, classy Rosemary Clooney’s latest release is dedicated in part to a writer of beautiful songs: Antonio Carlos Jobim. Her presentation, surrounded by an outstanding supporting cast, remains mellow, natural, and all acoustic. Tempos, for the most part, remain slow and relaxed so that an emphasis may be applied to melody and consonant harmony. Two guest vocalists join the veteran singer with duets that recall Clooney’s 1945 career onset. After singing duets with her sister Betty for WLW Radio in Cincinnati, the siblings joined Tony Pastor’s big band a few years later as The Clooney Sisters. On Brazil she’s joined by John Pizzarelli and Diana Krall in a duet format that recalls those earliest years and shows with conviction that Rosemary Clooney’s voice hasn’t lost an ounce of clarity or charm.

Smooth and polite, Clooney weaves through familiar Jobim favorites "Corcovado," "The Girl from Ipanema," "Once I Loved," "One Note Samba," "How Insensative," plus his less well known "Waters of March" and "Meditation." Pizzarelli, who appears on nearly every track, joins her for vocal duets for a handful of those. His solo offering of "Dindi" and Jobim’s "Wave" add significantly to the album. Diana Krall’s duet on "Boy from Ipanema" weaves two contrasting styles, as Clooney interprets straight and narrow alongside Krall’s overly sexy response. Well, after all, itisa sexy song.

Oscar Castro-Neves contributes wordless vocals and acoustic guitar for "I Concentrate on You." All of Clooney’s partners are mellow enough for the occasion and complement her well. Pizzarelli sings the slow ballad "Dindi" with a soulful interlude by Nino Tempo. The respected saxophonist has a similar featured spot during the instrumental track, "Sweet Happy Life," as a hot, samba solo baton is passed from tenor to: Chauncey Welsch’s rich, open trombone; Bob Summers’ fluid, graceful trumpet; Pizzarelli’s wordless vocals in unison with his acoustic guitar; and finally to mainstay Jeff Hamilton for a crisp drum break. It’s great accompaniment to go along with a classy singer. Rosemary Clooney performs the music of Jobim with an authentic spirit accompanied by a "family" of talented jazz partners.


Title: Brazil | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Concord Jazz

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