Having finally escaped from the artistic shackles placed on her by Mitch Miller's corn machine at Columbia, Rosemary Clooney began recording for several other labels. One of them was RCA for some productive work during the early 1960's. Tracks culled from two RCA releases make up the bulk of this compilation. Because of these albums, and others, by the 1970's Clooney had emerged as one of our great song stylists.
The best of the albums is Clap Hands! Here Comes Rosie where RCA recognizes Clooney's affinity for the jazz genre by hooking up her with Don Fagerquist, Jimmy Rowles and Ted Nash backed by Bob Thompson's solid charts. "Makin Whoopee" and "Give Me the Simple Life" from that album have been included on this disk. The other main RCA album represented here is Rosie Solves the Swingin' Riddle. Clooney gets the Nelson Riddle treatment with his inimitable arrangements resulting in still another good set. "You Took Advantage of Me" with a good bass trombone and a swinging, jazz version of the otherwise pedestrian Tin Pan Alley product, "Shine on Harvest Moon", and a romantic "How Am I to Know?" with an anonymous saxophonist filling in behind Clooney come from that album. Clooney and Riddle go for a swinging Basie with vocalist like version of "April in Paris" with an unidentified trumpet player, probably Don Fagerquist, doing an imitation of delicate butterfly fluttering with the trumpet. This is one of the best tracks on an album filled with good tracks. There's a cool duet with Bing Crosby smoothing the icing on the cake. The one disappointment is that for some the reason, the producers of the album chose to include an out of place, turgid, mournful "Danke Schön". Shades of Mitch Miller!
Forty minutes of Rosemary Clooney's journey to the top of the vocalist heap is well worth having and listening to. Recommended.
I Get along without You Very Well; Bye Bye Blackbird; Give Me the Simple Life; How Am I to Know?; I Ain't Got Nobody (and Nobody Cares for Me); I Can't Get Started*; You took Advantage of Me; It Could Happen to You; April in Paris; Mean to Me; Makin' Whoopee; Sway#; Shine on Harvest Moon; Danke Sch
Rosemary Clooney, Bing Crosby* - Vocals; Nelson Riddle, Bob Thompson, Billy May, Perez Prado#, Dick Reynolds - Conductors; Pete Candoli, Don Fagerquist - Trumpet; Milt Bernhart - Trombone; Ted Nash, Ronnie Lang, Bud Shank - Sax; Jimmy Rowles - Piano