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Released by North Star, this album of Christmas favorites by the fabulous Rosemary Clooney was compiled by Concord Records, presumably from more than one of the many albums she has recorded for that label over the years. Anyone who has read more than a handful of this writer's reviews will be aware of his fondness for Rosie whose distinctive voice and easygoing style have always struck a responsive chord. She is, quite simply, one of the most wonderful pop singers ever (our opinion, of course, but one that is shared by many others). She's accompanied here mainly by large orchestras, sometimes with strings and, on occasion, an unidentified back'up chorus. The arrangements, also anonymous, are first'rate, the choice of material likewise, starting with Bob Wells / Mel Torm's classic 'Christmas Song' and including, among others, Irving Berlin's 'White Christmas' (on which she sings the lovely introductory verse) and other well'known seasonal songs blended with a few lesser'known melodies such as 'Sleep Well, Little Children,' 'Christmas Mem'ries,' Lee Mendelson / Vince Guaraldi's 'Christmas Time Is Here' (written for a Peanuts television special) and Matt Dennis / Tom Adair's 'The Spirit of Christmas.' On the medley of 'Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town / Hey Kris Kringle' Rosie is joined by an unnamed male singer whose voice I can't quite identify (it's not Michael Feinstein but closer to him than Bing Crosby). The recording quality is excellent, playing time modest at less than forty'two minutes. A congenial and unassuming soundtrack for those festive holiday get'togethers.
Track Listing: The Christmas Song; White Christmas; Let It Snow; It?s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year; Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas; Winter Wonderland; Sleep Well, Little Children; I?ll Be Home for Christmas; Christmas Time Is Here; Santa Claus Is Coming to Town; The Christmas Waltz; Christmas Mem?ries; The Spirit of Christmas (41:48).
Personnel: Rosemary Clooney, vocals; other personnel unlisted.
I love jazz because I enjoy the freedom.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was 17.
I met Cedar Walton at a concert in San Paulo.
The best show I ever attended was Helio Jambao trio.
The first jazz record I bought was Witchcraft by George Benson.
My advice to new listeners is listen to the old school first.